Thursday, 12 December 2013 7.48AM / Tayo Tayo Shenbanjo firstname.lastname@example.org
“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown” - William Penn, English Religious Leader in the seventeenth century.
The last couple of months have been very tumultuous in our country. Multiple events have made nonsense of our pursuit of happiness. The carnage caused by widespread insecurity all over the country; the non-stop Boko Haram attacks that will not abate, kidnappings, armed robberies, plane crashes, needless road mishaps that keep claiming the lives of Nigerians, authority stealing, judicial rascality, widespread penchant to disobey simple laws, grand-scale impunity, baby factories, sophisticated prostitution by our young adults involving both men and women, suspect elections, suspect results, compromised election tribunals, low NAECO scores, and so on.
However, in the midst of all these sob stories, some of us continue to believe that Nigeria will come out better in the end. We just need to believe this and work harder to surmount all these ills, which though seem massive, are little problems, if we indeed work to cleanse our land. We can never lose hope or give up on our motherland.
Every noble Nigerian should be worried about the most recent occurrences in our land.
Just recently, we became privy to the emotional letter written by our Central Bank chief, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to our President, asking the president to use his good offices to ask the nation’s petroleum resources stewards, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) where most of our oil receipts are.
Without repeating news in the public domain, the CBN chief lamented that trillions of naira earned from oil sales are nowhere to be found. He informed the President that the NNPC continues to be a law onto itself. Nigeria earns money which is not remitted to the national treasury. This should concern all of us. As usual, the asinine response from NNPC by one Omar Farouk is as silly and idiotic as they come. He even informed us that the barrels of crude the CBN chief quoted were less, as NNPC shipped more oil.
Can someone please tell these people that in other countries, the punishment for stealing like this is the ultimate sacrifice? These are serious matters concerning all of us, our children and Nigerians yet unborn. Our future, our infrastructural growth, our opportunities are being frittered away, right in front of our eyes.
Our Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a time tested global public-servant with degrees from Harvard and MIT, a consummate economist, a respected voice in the corridors of high finance in the western world is currently at a loss for an answer. Regarding this allegation of our missing petro-dollars, she responded that all these media attacks are aimed at politicizing her good works and tarnishing her sterling name. She said the CBN Governor’s claims and questions are lies, disgruntlement and innuendoes.
She however failed to answer the simple question, where is the money? In which banks are these funds domiciled, if the country’s national bank says it doesn’t have our receipts? Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has asked us to be vigilant, and we now wish to tell her that we are. So, we vigilantly ask again, where is our money?
As if these issues are not enough, this week, our former leader and President, Olusegun Obasanjo penned a long terse letter to our current king, Dr. Jonathan, telling the President that he is not happy at all the way things are going on. I’m sure OBJ was typing his letter from a laptop donated by either Arthur Eze or Femi Otedola, and sitting on his ergonomic chair paid for by another generous donor to his library. Anyway, not to minimize the importance of what OBJ had to say, the elderly and retired three-time head of state itemized in detail a lot of things that have gone wrong in our polity. I actually feel sorry and empathize with OBJ. He did a good job by asking President Jonathan to right this vessel. The way Obasanjo and many Nigerians see things, our country is akin to a huge cruise vessel which is fast approaching a giant iceberg. We all know what happened to the Titanic.
The questions remain the same; what kind of a country are we planning on bequeathing to our young ones? What legacy blocks are we constructing? How do we define our understanding of character, integrity, loyalty, honesty and selfless service to others? The mere fact that some ministers in the present government have not offered to resign willingly is still a mystery to me. Anyone who grew up in the Nigeria of fifties, sixties, seventies and early eighties will wonder where that promising future we all fathomed went.
So, the main question remains the issue of our petro-dollars? Can Dr. Okonjo-Iweala and the magicians at NNPC please shed more light, since one of those clowns has said the CBN Governor is clueless?
Nigeria, We Hail Thee.
ADDENDUM - QUOTE:
“The 24% of total crude oil revenue receipts which the CBN governor is reported to have acknowledged that NNPC remitted represents the proceeds from the equity lifting which NNPC is directly responsible for. The alleged unremitted 76% was paid to the agencies that are statutorily empowered to receive them for onward remittance into the Federation Account”, Dr. Ibrahim explained. He stressed the need for institutions of the Federal Government and top government functionaries to seek understanding of issues that are not clear to them from relevant agencies rather than go public with misleading information that is capable of creating public disaffection. He expressed NNPC’s availability at all times to meet with all relevant stakeholders to clarify issues.”
REMARK - If the CBN Governor does not know all this time, who else should know? And okay....so now that we know where the Equity Crude (from NNPC) is, where are the PPT (from FIRS) and Royalty (from DPR) proceeds, assuming that TP and NPDC have the other two proceeds? Inquiring minds want to know. – Professor Bolaji Aluko