The outcry by Nigerians at the time over this allegedly missing money led to the setting up of a probe panel, by the government of the day. When the report of this probe panel was turned in, government declared that no money was missing. Since then, I have become suspicious of government probes.
During the first Gulf War that came about with Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and America’s subsequent action to free Kuwait, the windfall that accrued to the Nigerian government in terms of surplus cash, as a result of spiralling oil price, under the watch of General Babangida’s government, was rumoured to be missing too.
Expectations were high that the Oputa panel would unravel the truth or otherwise of this rumour. Unfortunately, nothing of such happened.
Today, accusations and counter-accusations have started to fly about missing oil money, or shortfalls that are supposed to accrue to government and unremitted to federation account.
CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has come to retract some aspects his statement. Where do we go from here?
My humble opinion is that the time has come for us as a people and a nation to ignore these rumours, stop shadow-chasing, and demand proper accountability and international best practice from our government, in the oil industry, and all sectors of our economy. In so doing, organs of government responsible for the management of these parastatals and agencies will be strengthened to avoid wastes and leakages. Whistle blowing and enforcement agencies should be strengthened too, to carry out their lawfully assigned duties, responsibly. I think the entire nation will be better off with this arrangement.
Chukwuma Dioka, Owerri <email@example.com>;