Governors attending Nigeria’s Governors’ Forum took aim at Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in a statement released from the proceedings today. The Forum, presided over by its Chairman Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, was held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
The statement expressed outrage, questioned her integrity, and demanded that she give an explanation regarding the missing $20 billion from the state coffers.
The Governors’ Forum statement is the latest development centered on the controversial PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which was spurred by Lamido Sanusi exposing to the public the missing money. Sanusi, now the Emir of Kano, was sacked by President Jonathan for blowing the whistle on the mission $20 billion.
Governor Amaechi demanded action from Okonjo-Iweala on the missing money in a statement that “In the light of the facts that funds in the Excess Crude Account were last disbursed in May 2013, there is need for the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to provide explanations for accruals to this account from June 2013 to April 2015 which is estimated at over $20billion."
Governor Amaechi also announced that a Governors’ Forum Academy called the “NGF Leadership Academy” would be set up, and will be responsible for leadership development targeting governors and public officials.
Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State was also elected Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, which was also announced by outgoing Chairman Amaechi.
Governor Yari was elected by consensus to serve as Chairman for one year. He has been Deputy Chairman of the Forum but no one has been appointed to replace that role, according to reports.
The future of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum was uncertain in 2013 when it split into two competing groups. During the election, Governor Amaechi dislodged his opponent Jonah Jang, the Governor of Plateau State.