Buhari To Jonathan: Account For $20b Missing Oil Fund

•Muhammadu Buhari

•President-elect Muhammadu Buhari

Kazeem Ugbodaga

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, General Muhammadu Buhari has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to account for the $20 billion missing oil fund and make available the audit report on the issue.

The APC candidate, who  on Monday addressed members of the Organised Private Sector, OPS, at the State House, Marina, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, said the nation’s elite should take the blame for the collapse of the nation’s economy, adding that they were the ones profiting from the abandonment of the refineries.

He said some of the elite owned refineries outside the country, which was why the refineries at home could not be put into proper use.

On the $20 billion missing oil money, Buhari asked Jonathan to immediately account for it as it smacks of corruption.

“This current government is being challenged to account for an estimated $20 billion and the whole country is awaiting a report of a forensic audit. $20 billion at N210 to $1 is equal to N4.2 trillion, nearly a year’s federal budget.

“If it is rue this sum cannot be accounted for, this is grossest form of corruption. Just think about it:  at N5 million per vehicle, this money would have bought 840,000 patrol vehicles. At N13.5 million for a high capacity bus, this money would have bought 311,000 buses.

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“From information at my disposal, Lekki Bridge in Lagos cost N29 billion to construct. N4.2 trillion would have built 145 Lekki bridges. If the average cost of generating one mega-watt of power is about US$1.5 million (excluding gas and distribution cost), $20 billion would have bought us over 13,333 mega-watts of power. What a difference that would make up and down the country,” he said.

He said if one also factored N2.2 trillion spent on subsidising fuel importation, which became a huge scandal, one might then understand why the APC’s manifesto focuses on the issues of security, corruption and the economy.

Buhari stated that “we are too vulnerable as a nation at this moment if we have to import fuel to move our planes, our tanks and our men. We are too vulnerable as you can see that we also have to import arms. We are vulnerable because our troops also depend on imported food.”

He further said from studies carried out by APC, the nation would require not less than 200,000 trained personnel to support the initiative to provide power and light up Nigeria, saying that apart from the inherent direct employment that it would generate, the reduction in cost of production, the savings from self-generation by Nigerians, who currently spend a lot of their income on purchase of diesel and petrol to generate their own electricity, would reduce the burden on their disposable income.

“These savings to Nigerians from reliable electricity will help the average Nigerian spend their money on other basic necessities of life and reduce poverty. There is already an initiative to build a refinery in Lagos.

“Our government will support this initiative because a local refinery means many things, such as jobs locally at a Nigerian refinery instead of refineries abroad, local fuel supply and national security and reduced importation, less demand for foreign exchange and strengthening of the naira,” he stated.

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