Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State during an exclusive interview with SaharaTV blamed former Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the dire financial situation facing Nigeria today.
Governor Oshiomhole has been one of former Minister Okonjo-Iweala’s most vocal critics, often writing editorial submissions to Nigerian newspapers and making public statements calling for her time as Minister to be thoroughly investigated.
The Governor told SaharaTV that “what we are saying is [former Minister Okonjo-Iweala] should accept responsibility that she failed to manage the economy properly. Even when we argue that the economy was in distress, she was always on record saying that everything was fine, the economy was strong, and that we’re the largest economy on the continent.”
There are allegations that Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala deliberately misled the Nigerian public about the severity of theft from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and from Federal Accounts, estimated to be in excess of 20 billion dollars.
On the stolen 20 billion dollars Governor Oshiomhole said, “remember when [former CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi], who you can’t dismiss, talked about billions of dollars being diverted. Ngozi was quick to say no, that’s it’s not 20 billion, it’s only 10.8 billion dollars. Even that is offensive to a good conscience.”
Governor Oshiomhole said that former Minister Okonjo-Iweala “needs to come clean. She should accept responsibility, having accepted the role of a coordinating minister. Too many things went wrong with the Nigerian economy.
He later added that, “here in Washington, everybody is talking about billions of dollars of Nigerian crude money that was taken. [Former Minister Okonjo-Iweala] wasn’t raising alarms, people were raising alarms and [Okonjo-Iweala] shut them up.”
When SaharaTV asked Governor Oshiomhole whether he had a personal vendetta against Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala he said that, “there’s nothing personal about it, if anything I consider [Okonjo-Iweala] a friend. But she knows that my friendship is subordinated to the bigger national interests.”
He later added, however, that former Minister Okonjo-Iweala “has got a title to claim and honor that she doesn’t deserve in the face of these huge numbers that cannot be accounted for."
The complete interview of Governor Oshiomhole can be viewed below: