Sanusi vs nnpc: governance through delegation by abdication

In A Multi ethnic nation where the dominant ethnic groups and their political leaders try to outwit each other using the minority as pawns to guarantee their hold on to power and where the leadership of the minority group often behave like a woman with three husbands to the detriment of their impoverished people on whose behalf they pretend to flirt, I really don’t see anything wrong in president Jonathan motor of ‘if you don’t trust others, how do you expect others to trust you?’ I think the problem is not this politics of subterfuge, but the president penchant to delegate and abdicate responsibilities to those who we now know are not driven by altruism.

For President Jonathan, his trusted friends can hardly err. They are beyond reproach. If perchance they, either as governors or ministers are involved in what , Augustus Aihkomu, Babangida.s vice, termed ‘misapplication of funds’ as against misappropriation, and got indicted by the judiciary or house committee probe, they will be given a presidential amnesty to enable them, in the words of Doyin Okupe, ‘continue to contribute to the development of their nation’. The president is therefore slow to action no matter the degree of malfeasance of his trusted friends such as Petroleum minister Alison Maduakwe, and NNPC Andrew Yakubu the Nigeria new oil wizards and the minister of Finance who often talks and acts as if she is doing Nigeria a favour by climbing down from World Bank to be our minister of Finance.

The president shields his friends .That the petroleum ministry, PPPRA presided over the theft of about N1.7 trillion, that Okonjo Iweala paid those who in the words of Audu Ogbe, a former PDP chairman, never imported a bottle of fuel’, even after arrogantly telling Nigerians she needed to pay those who imported fuel on behalf of government, that Otedola was culpable for inducing Lawan Farouk with bribe, count for little because they are the president trusted friends.

Sanusi Lamido, the outgoing CBN governor is not one of the president trusted friends. This is why I think his current crusade against the president men which started with a private memo to the president blowing the whistle about unremitted 49.8 billion dollars to the federation account was initially ignored. When the letter was finally leaked to the press after three months, an irritated president was alleged to have tried to force Sanusi to resign.

A reconciliation meeting of CBN, NNPC and ministry of petroleum later confirmed #10.8 billion was ‘unreconciled’ according to Ngozi Iweala, the finance minister. The Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Deizani Alison-Madueke, and the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Yakubu claimed the original 10. 8 billion dollars which was the shortfall they admitted existed as at July 2013 was spent as follows: NNPC withheld 8. 76 billion dollars for subsidy, 0. 4599 billion as holding cost of strategic reserve and 0.761 billion as pipeline crude oil and product losses.

But Sanusi insists such expenditure without appropriation by the national assembly was illegal. Besides, the Yar Adua administration having discovered the whole kerosene claim was a scam had by a memo signed by his Principal Secretary, Mr. David Edevbie on June 15, 2009 given a directive to stop the so called subsidy on kerosene. Sanusi presented evidence of the directive. The petroleum minister however has no counter directive even from president Jonathan .Trying to pass the buck; she said she wasn’t a minister in 2009 as if government is not continuity. She then hazards a guess. Those who flouted the directive probably did so because according to her kerosene is for the use of the poor.

Her argument ignores the fact that the subsidy was stopped by Yar Adua because it was discovered if anyone was benefitting from the scam call kerosene subsidy, it was the marketers and government officials and not the poor. And to further demonstrate the arbitrariness of that president has delegated power to, the minister said Yar Adua’s directive was never gazeted. It will appear under Jonathan presidency, trusted ministers can unilaterally decide initiate and implement policies, and flout presidential directives because they are not ‘gazeted’ and move on to spend 8 million dollars a day on phantom subsidy.

But The CBN was not done. He has further claimed that 20 billion dollars was yet to be accounted for. The Coordinating Minister for the Economy Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has at the Senate Committee on Finance hearing on the alleged missing 20 billion dollars also admitted there ‘is ‘a puzzle over unremitted funds to the CBN’ which she would like an independent forensic audit to resolve. “Our judgment is that a proper examination of these documents requires technical expertise beyond the capacity of the reconciliation team.”Therefore, we believe we should have an independent forensic audit to manage these submissions,”

But not too long ago NNPC and the supervising ministry of petroleum said Sanusi as a banker lacked the capacity to understand accounting processes. Suddenly we are been told there is a need for a forensic expert to trace humongous 20billion dollars.

The chairman of the committee, Ahmed Makarafi, has even added another dimension. Apart from the forensic audit by the reconciliation group, he said that the committee would reconvene on Feb. 20 to enable the Attorney General of Federation to give a legal advice on the issue.

But what has become apparent so far is that the president trusted friends spent over N500 billion within four years purportedly on kerosene which was hardly available at filling stations and if when available sold for about N150 as against government N50 controlled price. For over four years the government appeared impotent unable to meet the demand of consumers or sanction those who sell above the advertised subsidised rate.

The president burden is immense. But I am not sure if delegation by abdication and seeking refuge in church can lighten the president burden. Last Sunday following the massacre of about 109 of our compatriots by those who are probably not Nigerians in the besieged Bornu state after the initial killing of 52 innocent Nigerians and an ambush of eight soldiers all within one week, the commander in chief was in RCC church in Banana Island Lagos, to thank Christians for their prayers, claiming it would have been worse but for their prayers and that of other Nigerians. Our revered pastor Adeboye prophesied that Nigeria would be great. Of course there is perhaps no other time our nation needs more prayers and prayers warriors than now, but I think it will be more symbolic if we try to identify more with our suffering brothers by carrying the crusade to their besieged cities and villages.

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