HOW MISSING BILLIONS LED TO NIGERIA’S DWINDLING ECONOMY

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BY IFEANYI CHUKWU NWANNAH
As president Muhammadu Buhari has intensifies more efforts towards building a new Nigeria devoid of corruption, he must mostly lay emphasis on certain commitments that the missing billons must be
recovered. The great expectation of Nigerians is that he need to adopt and implement the policy with which he was known for; to ensure transparency, oversight and accountability. He should ensure that the intensifies proper and deep investigations into corruption at all sectors of the economy.
The national assignment is an attempt to eliminate corruption in the country and bring the culprits who are linked to siphoning public money to book since there are evidences abound. Nigerians expect that
the president should aggressively expand his jurisdiction beyond the oil and gas sector.
Interestingly, many public office holders have been indicted based on suspicious transactions in all the sectors. More importantly, the investigation should not point to only the oil sector. All other sectors have scandals that need proper reform. So it becomes imperative that the present administration should prosecute the bunch of public office holders who connive with relevant agencies to loot the nation’s treasury and enrich themselves illegally and dishonestly at the expense of the poor masses.
After through investigation, and official found wanting should be given harsher punishment to serve as a big lesson to others who may have the intension to loot public funds and cause economic doldrums
that can affect million of citizens.
There are many ministries and government agencies whose management were characterized by abuse of office and corruptions which are now beginning to be exposed. That is why many national and international observers said that there can never be a new Nigeria unless President Buhari takes the new phase of his campaign very serious,. But what alarms analysts in the way the president intensifies his efforts to recover stolen billions of Nigeria and stalls corruption in the building of a new Nigeria is his fruitful trips to advanced countries.
From the look of things, the administration is committed to its constitutional obligation of promoting good governance and social harmony in the country. The human rights organizations are piling much pressure for president Buhari to speedily investigate and prosecute all the corrupt public officers to move the country forward and sanitize the system.
Not long ago, it was discovered that over N30 billion was missing from the national identity management commission as some staff petitioned the economic and financial crime commission (EFCC) to probe the where about of the missing billions. They did not stop there, they insisted that the EFCC should probe the where about of the missing billions under the Mr. Chris Onyemenan. The monumental corruption in the
management of national identity commission is one of the many cases of study in Nigeria.
It was also reported that the Nigeria communication commission is one of the most corrupt government agencies where billions of naira were said to have been siphoned into private accounts.
There are so many petitions of that nature including officers of the law, the police service commission where the former inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro was said to have embezzled the commissions funds meant for training of police officers before the 2015 general elections.
Sadly, the security operatives that have the responsibility to protect lives and properties of Nigerian are not free from corrupt practices.
The country budgets huge amount of money on security but there is no positive impact. The United State Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and human rights, Sarah Sewell said that corruption has hindered the country from winning the war against insurgency especially the war against Boko Haram in the North. All these are coming up from the insiders after Jonathan’s Administration.
Recent investigations have shown that about 11.55 trillions dollars excess crude oil fund which the former minister of petroleum resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke was linked to as she could not account for the money between 2007 – 2014. The story is the same with most public office holders who are in different ministries, and parastatals even the State Governments who hijack the Local Government
Federal allocations but Nigerians are mindful only of the corruption in the oil sector.
It is true that those who are involved with oil theft are not ordinary Nigerians but those who are highly placed with lucrative positions are involved in oil theft. The question most Nigerian ask is whether these
people are above the law or sacred cows.
Again, Nigerians are eagerly waiting to hear the outcome of whether the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNGC) actually paid Nigeria earned 11.8 billion dollars to the NNPC. Nigerians are at a
cross road as to whether the money was paid as claimed by the NLNGC which said it is clear what the company paid to NNPC while the later said there is no financial document to prove the payment.
But the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has revealed that NNPC has failed to remit the sum of 11.6 billion dollars paid to the Federal Government by the NLNGC. Interestingly, the All Progressive Congress (APC) findings revealed that before Buhari took over the reign of power from Jonathan on May 29th the
NLNGC dividend stood at 5.6 billion dollars which many Nigerians believe were siphoned into private purses. These and many more are startling revelations which are crying out for justice.
Recently, the senate president, Senator Bukola Saraki revealed that the petroleum subsidy management is corrupt. He made it clear that Nigeria has lost 32 billion dollars to fuel subsidy pointing out that evidences are intact to prove that his investigation was authentic.
There are other revelations that the NNPC lost 4 trillion dollars to oil theft in three years. That is to say that top government officials are living above their means.
According to Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the cost of maintaining NNPCS is more than the cost of maintaining the Federal Government. He revealed that the NNPC generated 8 trillions dollars between 2012 – May 2015 but only 4.3 trillion dollars was paid into the federation account wondering the where about of 3.8 trillion dollars from the revenue belonging to Nigeria. The comrade further stated that no approval was given on the use of the money by the Federal Government or National appropriation.
The Governor also said that 2.1 billion dollars was withdrawn from the excess crude oil account without approval by the national economic council but the former minister of finance Dr. Ngozi Iweala Okonjo
refuted the claim that she did not approve the withdrawal of the money from the excess crude oil account. But whatever the case maybe, there must be documents for the president and his team to work on and
discover the truth.
This again forced then APC to call on president Buhari to probe the over the 4.1 billion dollars that was not remitted to the federation account. In all these, the president has got a wide range of cases to
be investigated since the nation treasury has been sucked dry, making it possible to place pathetic Nigerians in a waste basket.
Good enough, president Buhari’a trip to the united state may help to strengthen the relationship between Nigeria and USA which has the advantage of repatriating over 6 billion US dollars which was stolen
from Nigeria coffers.

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