We react to the media outcry and backlash from Nigerians far and near about the alleged phone conversation involving Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, and few Management Staff released to the public few days ago by Sahara Reporters, an online platform. As it is well known, this platform has, no doubt, carved a niche for itself in investigative journalism. We also refer to the statement issued by the CBN in reaction to the said audio conversation. We issue the following statement knowing full well the important role played by the CBN in a developing economy like ours, and most importantly, because we act as champions of transparency, accountability and good governance in public service:
1. That the Central Bank of Nigeria should make the authentic audio tape public as to dissuade and assuage the international community, investors and the entire Nigerians that the conversation was not deleted to mislead the public as ascribed to by the CBN statement and in bad faith to mislead the gullible public.
2. Profiling the conversation between the CBN Governor and the staff, shows that the telephone conversation was just recently done as against the statement of CBN. The CBN insists that this was a selective wire taped conversation of the bank’s management in 2015. Our psychological profilers have attentively listened to the audio, and after a critical analysis, have agreed that, really the “fear” displayed by the tune of the discussants was not a management routine discussion but a selective discussion carried out to cover up some financial infractions by trusted aides, who were at their wits-end to do anything possible to write off, transfer, and do the needful spin to cover the financial infractions. With expressions like: “I don die now. Where I go see the money?” ascribed to Mr Emifiele, clearly shows that there is more to it than meet the eyes and the repeated hopelessness in the conversation of a way out of the CBN Governor cannot be swept under the carpet.
3. Subject to his confirmation by the Senate, the CBN financial records/statement of accounts should be immediately, without further notice, be audited by forensic auditors from outside the country so as to restore investors’ confidence, and that of Nigerians and the international community. On the other hand, the management staff involved should proceed on “suspension” pending the outcome of the investigation to unravel their culpability and ascertain how much has been fleeced from the Central Bank’s vaults and how the money developed wings at the apex bank so as to restore credibility in the financial system.
4. The audio leak should be taken seriously by well-meaning Nigerians because if this audio was explained to Nigerians beforehand, or the measures taken by Management to block the loopholes before now, it would have been accepted by all, instead of the hush statement put forward by the CBN. In a televised interview by the CBN spokesman, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, on MoneyLine live on the Africa Independent Television (AIT), he said they were “cracking their brains” to solve a problem, which to a lot of Nigerians, the reverse was the case, because the emotional discomfiture of the CBN Governor, his Deputy and aides gave their intentions out to Nigerians, that there is more to it than meet the eyes. In fact, the audio will affect the country’s economy negatively as investors will panic and paint a gloomy scenerio into the financial system, thereby losing the country financial image in the comity of nations. The best option at this juncture, is for the CBN Governor to proceed on suspension so as to restore confidence and boost the economy, paving way for an independent investigation.
5. A lot of Nigerians believe that the CBN statement was full of financial jargons and not in tandem with (and at variance with) what transpired on the audio. Therefore, there has to be a thorough “house-cleaning” and it has also been agreed by a section of Nigerians that it was because of issues like these that the CBN Governor was re-appointed. This is because, it is self-serving a few people in authority at the detriment of Nigerians to plow the economy backwards. This is indeed beyond press statement from the CBN and not enough to correct an alleged monumental fraud at the apex bank involving huge sums of money. There are so many under-hand cover-ups that heralded Mr. Emiliefele’s administration over the years. Therefore, it is high time, we clean the Aegean’s stable and allow for fresh blood into the financial system, as the continued stay of Mr. Godwin Emifiele is not only anti-people but a dent on the country’s good corporate governance practice and our financial image.
6. Mr Emifiele’s re-appointment is the first in the history of Nigeria that is greeted with so many hues and cries due to the massive sufferings of Nigerians, because of the apex bank’s policies. It is a known fact that the audio recording came few days after President Muhammadu Buhari sent Mr Emefiele’s name to the Senate for confirmation for another term of five years, which does not take away the substance of the issue at stake. There was indeed an alleged monumental cover-up as the audio leak opened a can of worms of what must have been happening in the apex bank for some time now. We therefore implore the CBN to immediate produce the full content of the audio as stated in its press statement so as to assuage Nigerians as to the true story of what transpired.
7. We also sincerely apologize to the Nigerian people to have proposed to honour the CBN Governor by our parent body, only to realize recently of the alleged sharp practices going on in the apex bank. We further tender our unreserved apologies and withdraw all the previous accolades written on the bank’s integrity and management. It is a fact, that Nigerians are tired of being taken for granted and deserve to know the truth of what transpired. We earnestly advise that the CBN Governor proceed on suspension till further notice. Finally, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to take a decisive action so as to restore investors’ confidence and Nigerians’ belief in his fight against corruption and the sincerity of his Next Level Agenda.
Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele
Executive Secretary, Citizens Watch Advocacy Initiative (CWAI)
Comrade James Okoronkwo
Head, Media Relations, Citizens Watch Advocacy Initiative (CWAI)
NNPC Remits N1.26tn to Federation Account in 2018
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it met its financial obligations to the Federation Account in 2018 by remitting N1.26 trillion as against the N1.22 trillion projected in the 2018 budget, recording a surplus of N41billion.
Managing Director of NNPC Capital, Mr. Godwin Okonkwo, made this submission when he represented the Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru during a presentation to the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on the Investigation of the Non-Remittances of Funds to the Federation Account by the corporation between July 2017 and December 2018 at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.
A release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, on Tuesday quoted the GMD as saying that though 2.3million barrels per day (mbpd) was proposed in the 2018 budget, national daily production for the period under review oscillated between 1.9mbpd to 1.89mbpd.
Dr. Baru listed the two sources of inflows into the Federation Account from the NNPC to include equity crude oil sales less cost of recovery from the Joint Venture cash call arrears and domestic crude less cost recovery, adding that the JV cash call arrears were being efficiently managed now to ensure steady inflows to the Federation Account.
“The current management of NNPC ensures that it contributes to the cost of the production of crude oil and gas in the upstream sector to avoid a repeat of the mistakes of the past. If we had made cash call payments in the past, the arrears that we are liquidating now would not have arisen. The current situation creates a win-win scenario for the country. The NNPC is strategically saving for the rainy day to make a better future for all of us by liquidating the arrears”, Mr. Okonkwo posited.
He noted that the corporation on a regular and sustained basis balanced up with the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and the JV cash calls in order to make sure that the future generations do not suffer from the legacy debt.
The NNPC Capital MD dismissed the allegations by Commissioners of Finance of under remittances by the Corporation, adding that the NNPC was a going business concern that met financial obligations to its various stakeholders.
Dr. Baru stated that investment in the Oil and Gas Industry took time to mature, adding that if the NNPC failed in its obligation to invest in the sector, there would be nothing to share by the various tiers of government.
Responding to a question on whether the NNPC 2018 audited account was ready, Dr. Baru stated that the 2018 audited account would be ready next month, adding that NNPC had cleared its backlog of unaudited account. He attributed the delay to some Joint Venture partners that were being awaited to turn in their budget performance for the 2018 budget circle to be completed.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, Hon. Chukwuka Onyema Wilfred, praised the NNPC for responding to all the issues raised, stressing that the interface would go a long way to putting to rest allegations of non-remittances of funds against the NNPC.
FG’s Security Allegations Against Us Diversionary –PDP
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has said allegations by the Federal Government, that it is orchestrating a security breach in the country, alongside its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are diversionary tactics.
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, said government is desperate to play the victim, so as to conceal alleged manipulation of the 2019 presidential poll.
The opposition party said the recent Facebook revelation, detailing alleged disinformation by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s handlers and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 general election exposes them as “schemers and real enemies” of the country’s democracy and national cohesion.
It stated that the Facebook revelation has exposed the APC as “a fraudulent and violent-loving party, whose divisive activities are now directly threatening the security stability of our nation.
“Indeed, the Buhari Presidency and the APC should hide their faces in shame as Nigerians have seen that their professed sanctimony and ‘holier-than-thou’ claims are mere masquerading.
“Our party notes that there are more damning revelations against the APC, not only on its rigging of the general election, but also, on how it is working against our nation, which will come to light at the appropriate time.The APC, which engaged in manipulation to foist itself, will do anything, no matter how vile, to sustain itself in office, not minding the social, economic and collateral damages such could cause our dear nation.
“It is, however, to say the least, despicable that, in their desperation to hold on to power at all costs, president Buhari’s handlers and the APC engaged in this sneaky disinformation, internet lies and smear campaigns against PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.”
The party noted that it is unpardonable that instead of owning up, the federal government and the ruling party, through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, seek to cover their tracks and divert public attention by making unsubstantiated security allegations against it and Atiku.
Regardless, last Saturday, the minister accused the PDP and Atiku of doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari administration, overheat the polity and make Nigeria seemingly ungovernable.
The minister, who spoke during the 12th annual Ramadan lecture in his Oro countryhom,e in Kwara State, claimed that the opposition party colluded with “anti-democratic forces and dead-enders” to fan the embers of violence in the country.
He added: “As you are aware, a few days ago, we raised the alarm that either by themselves or via their proxies, the PDP and it’s presidential candidate are doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari administration, generally overheat the polity and make Nigeria seemingly ungovernable. Of course, you are aware of similar alarms that have been raised by the police, the military and the DSS.
“Our interventions are based on credible evidence and no government with the kind of evidence that we have, of plans to subvert the power of the state, attack the nation’s economic live wire and generally unleash mayhem on the polity, will keep quiet.
“The security agencies are all alert to their responsibilities and will not sit by and allow anyone to reverse the gains of our democracy under any guise.”
Boko Haram/Herdsmen :Ethnic Nationalities Group Berths In Nigeria, Vow To Defend Lands,Territories
We have observed with sadness over the years and especially since the emergence of the President Muhammad Buhari’s administration the targeted annihilation of the ethnic minorities in Nigeria. We have since realized that both Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen militia are brothers in arms against the ethnic nationalities of Nigeria in a brazen land grabbing and expansionist Fulani jihad.
It is evident that Boko Haram and Fulani militia have not only infiltrated the government of Nigeria, but government is directly or indirectly aiding and supporting daily evil perpetrated against the ethnic nationalities. Government rebranding of terrorist and Fulani militia as hoodlums or criminal elements does not change who truly they are. There are evidence of military killer squads targeting ethnic nationalities apart from the recycling of released terrorists into the Nigerian security or Fulani militia.
The government’s negotiations with Boko Haram and release of billions for them to be empowered is calculated and deliberate. Recent government negotiations to settle Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association with over N100 billion through one of their own agent, Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau (retd), the Interior Minister is not a surprise to us. We know who he is! No matter how much you give the terrorist from our sovereign wealth to arm their armoury and mercenaries, they can never take our ancestral land and each of you will pay.
Let it be on record that we have decided to form the Ethnic Nationalities Defence Organization (ENDO) to protect, defend and retaliate on any affront against the ethnic nationalities of Nigeria or our territories. Let us warn the Buhari government or any foolish governor against taking or giving any inch of ethnic nationalities land for Fulani cattle ranch or grazing. They should graze in their states of origin. Meanwhile, Audu Ogbe should be ready to resettle in Katsina after his tenure as Minister of Agriculture.
Lastly, we call on all ethnic nationalities to form their defence groups or militia or be ready to lose their ancestral lands after being killed as cowards and chickens in the hands of either the compromised Nigerian Army or Fulani militia and terrorists. Ours is, an eye for and eye and 10 for 1. Let’s see, who has the monopoly of violence. Ours is non-negotiable until the evil against all ethnic nationalities by government and Fulani herdsmen militia is halted.
Sign: David Maiyaki
Director of Operations
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