News / Africa

Nigeria Official Denies Government Malfeasance

Dr. Doyin Okupe, senior special adviser for public affairs of Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan. (Credit: Nigeria government)Dr. Doyin Okupe, senior special adviser for public affairs of Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan. (Credit: Nigeria government)
x
Dr. Doyin Okupe, senior special adviser for public affairs of Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan. (Credit: Nigeria government)
Dr. Doyin Okupe, senior special adviser for public affairs of Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan. (Credit: Nigeria government)
Peter Clottey
An adviser to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is denying accusations that the government squandered about $67 billion.

Doyin Okupe, senior special adviser for public affairs, says the accusations are malicious and without merit.

Nigeria’s former education minister, Obiageli Ezekwesili, said the government wasted about $45 billion in the foreign reserves account and another $22 billion from an account for increased crude oil earnings, which she said the government of former president Olusegun Obasanjo handed over to his successor in 2007.

“They are frivolous allegations and a very reckless disinformation. The facts on the ground do not support the accusations,” said Okupe. “Based on documents released by the CBN [Central Bank of Nigeria], the total of the foreign reserve was $43 billion, and not $67 billion. In fact, it has never been 67 billion in the last seven years.”
 
Last week, Ezekwesili, who was a World Bank vice president for Africa, spoke at the 42nd convocation ceremony of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and expressed concern about what she said was the level of corruption in the education sector.
 
“One cannot but ask what exactly does Nigeria seek to symbolize and convey with this level of brazen misappropriation of public resources?” she asked. “Where did all that money go? Where is the accountability for the use of both these resources, plus the additional several billions of dollars realized from oil sale by the two administrations that have governed our nation in the last six years? How were these resources applied or more appropriately, misapplied?”
 
In a rebuttal, the government said it found the former minister’s criticisms disingenuous and hypocritical.
 
Supporters of the former minister say the government is attacking Ezekwesili’s personality instead of addressing the alleged financial malfeasance. But, Okupe says the allegations are a mere publicity stunt.
 
“The CBN sent to my office a breakdown of Nigeria foreign reserve from 2007 until today. And I can tell you that the allegations are not supported by the figures from the Central Bank and that shows that there is no truth whatsoever in the allegations,” said Okupe.
 
He says the Central Bank figures show that Nigeria’s current foreign reserves are $45.3 billion, adding that there has not been a year that they dropped $32 billion.
         
“So the issue of squandering never occurred. The facts that we have given are easily verifiable,” Okupe said. “We have challenged her to bring her own figures and to quote the source of her figures and substantiate it.”
         
Ezekwesili has insisted that her facts are correct and called for a public debate on the issue – a call the government has rejected.
 
“You debate issues that have various sides to them, but facts are sacrosanct and there is no debate about facts. The government has given out the facts to the people of Nigeria,” said Okupe.

Clottey interview with Dr. Doyin Okupe, Special presidential adviser
Clottey interview with Dr. Doyin Okupe, Special presidential adviser i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid