The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Hon. Abdulmunini Jibrin, has said the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, should take the credit for saving N850 billion from the subsidy on petrol, and not the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Speaking in an interview with THISDAY, Jibrin said: “The minister of petroleum didn’t save that money; it is the minister of finance that saved that money and you see that is the problem we have in this country. Now when it comes to credit, the minister of petroleum is very quick to take credit.
“But when it comes to failure in the oil and gas industry she has never taken one responsibility for all the failures that we have in the petroleum industry, what kind of thing is that? Okay, let’s take it that she saved that money, I want her to be brave enough and come out and look at Nigerians and take responsibility for the failures that we have had in that industry.”
Continuing, he said: “I don’t know why somebody should be very happy that between 2010 and 2011 that you made the country lose about N2 trillion then you want to come out to boast that within a year thereafter, you have saved N850 billion, so what about the N2 trillion that was lost, have we recovered it? How did we lose it, was she not the one in charge? How has she improved in her management skills in her capacity, to preside over that oil sector that she lacked in 2010 and 2011 that she gained in 2012?”
The chairman of the house committee on finance further said he was one of the critics of the minister of finance, adding: “To be honest with you, any savings you see in that area it is by the actions of the minister of finance. We don’t know what the minister of petroleum did but until the minister comes out and explains her policies to all the committees of the House, I tell you that confidently, if there is any savings, the credit should go to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.”
Describing the minister of finance as hard working and very thorough, Jibrin added: “I’m not a fan of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, but it is time for us to face reality in this country. Everything that goes wrong in this country is being thrown back at her, is she the only person in government?”
“If there is problem with Works Ministry, it is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, if there is problem in Ministry of Aviation it’s her, if there is problem with Agriculture, it is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and everywhere there is a problem, the blame is being thrown at her. How real is that, can’t we face reality? Why are Nigerians keeping quiet?” he asked.
The member from Kano state said Nigerians were talking about the N850 billion from the oil subsidy, but no one had asked about the increasing oil theft and the huge revenue of N2 trillion that was lost between 2010 and 2012, saying: “Are we no longer interested in issues on oil theft and lack of transparency in the oil and gas sector?”
Information from This Day was used in this report.