Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that she is ready to respond to “legitimate enquiries about issues under her purview as finance minister”.
She was accused on Monday by some governors of having spent $2.1 billion out of the excess crude account (ECA) without authorisation. In response, Okonjo-Iweala said that some politicians are just bent on tarnishing her image.
“The allegation by some governors that former minister of finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala spent $2.1 billion out of the excess crude account “without authorization” is false, malicious and totally without foundation,” a statement by the former Minister, which was signed by her spokesman, Paul Nwabuikwu, read.
“We want to state categorically that no unauthorized expenditure from the ECA was made under Okonjo-Iweala’s watch in the finance ministry. Decisions on such expenditure were discussed at meetings of the federation accounts allocation committee (FAAC) attended by finance commissioners from the 36 states.
“It is curious that in their desperation to use the esteemed national economic council for political and personal vendetta, the persons behind these allegations acted as if the constitutionally recognized FAAC, a potent expression of Nigeria’s fiscal federalism, does not exist.
“The former minister is ready and willing to respond to legitimate enquiries about issues under her purview as finance minister. But it is clear that this is the latest chapter of a political witch-hunt by elements who are attempting to use the respected national economic council for ignoble purposes having failed abysmally in their previous attempts to tar the Okonjo-Iweala name.”