That Rotimi Amaechi is a confirmed liar is not in doubt. What is in doubt is his sanity. In recent comments to the media, Rotimi Amaechi kept referring to a certain missing $49 billion which he claims were monies missing from the NNPC account that were not paid into the federation account under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“As chairman of the Governors Forum, when I started fighting with President Jonathan, I was clear about what the fight was all about. I was the first Nigerian to raise the alarm about the former CBN governor’s letter to President Goodluck Jonathan that $49 billion was missing from the NNPC account and not paid to the federation account. If they had returned it, we would not be in recession. If that $49 billion was there plus other recovered looted funds, perhaps, we would have hit $50 billion. With $50 to $60 billion, you don’t need to look for dollars to buy.”
Nigerians will recall that this discredited allegation was made by the then Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who went on to change the amount that was missing three times.
In September 2013, the then Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Malam Sanusi Lamido alleged that the sum of $49.8 billion was not remitted to the federation account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. When he was challenged on this amount by the National Assembly, the then Minister of Finance, Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, and the NNPC, the then CBN Governor reduced the amount that was missing to $10.8 billion on December 18, 2013.
In February of 2014, the then CBN Governor wrote another letter to the Senate admitting that he did not know how much was unaccounted for saying it could be “$10.8 billion or $12 billion or $19 billion or $21 billion — we do not know at this point”.
Eventually, it was established that no such monies were missing and even the Buhari administration has kept quiet about the matter knowing that it was propaganda to pull down the previous administration.
So for Amaechi to rely on allegations that have been discredited and proven to be false to make an allegation against former President Jonathan leads one to question his sanity since his dishonesty is already a settled matter.
Here is a man who is a contradiction of the Buhari administration’s so called anti corruption war dancing naked. A man who admitted spending half a million dollars to host Nobel Laureate to a one day dinner with state resources. A man accused by two separate Supreme Court Justices of trying to bribe them. A man who is only consistent when it comes to betraying his benefactors. This is the same man accusing Dr. Goodluck Jonathan?
Nigerians should realize that it is no coincidence that this allegation is coming just days after the revelation that no record exists of Nigeria’s crude oil sales since June of 2015.
Flowing from the above, Nigerians should see Amaechi’s most recent verbal diarrhea as an attempt to divert attention from pressing questions that demand timely answers.
It is quite telling that the single most expensive infrastructure built in Nigeria in the last decade is the Kaduna-Abuja 187KM modern fast railway that enables you live in Kaduna and work in Abuja.
Though President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned this project on July 26, 2016, it is worth mentioning that neither he nor the pot bellied Amaechi had anything to do with this project beyond reaping where they had not sown!
That project was built and completed by the Jonathan administration.
If Nigerians want to know why it was very hard to save money over the last decade, they should point fingers at Rotimi Amaechi.
Those in the habit of noising about the ‘alternative fact’ that the Jonathan administration did not save up during the sunny days for the rainy day should not forget so soon that the Jonathan administration met $6.5 billion in the Excess Crude Account upon inception in 2010 and increased it to almost $9 billion by 2012.
However, the Nigerian Governors Forum, using their influence at the House of Representatives, had gotten that August body to declare the Excess Crude Account illegal in 2012.
So excruciating was the pressure from the Nigerian Governors Forum and most notably from the then Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, (now the minister of transport) for the Jonathan administration to end the Excess Crude Account and the Sovereign Wealth Fund regimes and instead share the funds in those accounts amongst the three tiers of government that they approached the Supreme Court, to challenge the legality of the Excess Crude Account and then President Jonathan’s decision to transfer $1 billion from that account to the Sovereign Wealth Fund.
In fact after hosting a meeting of the forum on September 21, 2012, at the Rivers state Governor’s lodge, Rotimi Amaechi said inter alia:
“On the Excess Crude Account, Forum unanimously decided to head back to Court to enforce the Federal Government’s adherence to the constitution.”
To those who do not know what the Constitution says, let me give you an insight by quoting from Section 162.
Section 162, provides that
“(1) The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called ‘the Federation Account’ into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or department of government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“(2) The President, upon the receipt of advice from the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, shall table before the National Assembly proposals for revenue allocation from the Federation Account, and in determining the formula, the National Assembly shall take into account, the allocation principles especially those of population, equality of States, internal revenue generation, land mass, terrain as well as population density;
“(3) Any amount standing to the credit of the Federation Account shall be distributed among the Federal and State Governments and the Local Government Councils in each State on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.”
From the above it was clear what the Amaechi led Governor’s forum wanted.
Mr. Amaechi led the governors in taking the Federal Government to court. The Jonathan administration offered an out of courts settlement with the governors in a deal that would have seen the federal government sharing some of the money and saving up the rest for Nigeria’s future but the governors rejected the offer.
In fact, the Jonathan Administration had argued at the Supreme Court that sharing the money in the ECA would affect “the day to day running of the nation’s economy”.
Working in tandem with Mr. Amaechi and his supporters in the Nigerian Governors Forum, the then minority APC members of the House of Representatives approached a Federal High Court on the 7th of February, 2014, for a perpetual injunction restraining the Jonathan administration from operating the ECA and to pay all the proceeds of that account into the Federation Account for sharing amongst the three tiers of government.
As a result of these actions, the Jonathan administration paid the 36 states of the federation a total of N2.92 trillion from the Excess Crude Account between 2011 and 2014. Using the value of the Naira at that time that amount was just above $20 billion dollars.
So it is quite clear that anyone who accuses the Jonathan administration of not saving for the rainy day has not been told the whole story.
By Reno Omokri
Omokri is the founder of the Mind of Christ Christian Center in California, author of Shunpiking: No Shortcuts to God and Why Jesus Wept and the host of Transformation with Reno Omokri