President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier told Nigerians that he inherited an empty treasury from the past administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan, and vowed to go after those that have looted the nation’s finances.
Daily Sun; Buhari probes military, Vanguard; FG probes N3.8trn missing oil funds, The Punch; Okonjo-Iweala spent $2.1bn without approval- says FG, The Nation; Four-man panel to probe how NNPC blew N3.8trn, as well as The Guardian; FG begins probe of NNPC, makes the front pages of the national dailies for Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was a former General in the Nigerian army, he has declined to attach sentiment in his fight against corruption as he ordered the probe of the military institution. DAILY SUN reports that President Buhari, on Monday, June 29, ordered the military hierarchy to account for the number of weapons purchased to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East. He also ordered the Military High Command to make available records of the total amount of money it received from the Federal Government to fight insurgency.
Daily Sun gathered from a top military source that the decision was taken after Mr. President met with the service chiefs comprising the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-General Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase. The source said the President’s decision might not be unconnected with the grumbling in the military by some personnel, who felt that their bosses and their colleagues occupying strategic position had taken advantage of the counter-terrorism operations to enrich themselves.
The source, who agreed there was corruption in the military, further disclosed that most senior officers see the war against insurgency as an avenue to make money, hence, lobby to get posted to the North-East. He said unlike in the past when soldiers lobbied to go for international peace-keeping operations, because of the foreign currency they will make. He said soldiers now lobby for counter-terrorist war in the North-East because the profit is very huge.
According to Oshiomhole, the balance of the oil money, put at about N3.8trillion, was withheld and spent by the NNPC without approval or National Assembly appropriation.
The governor also told journalists, after the meeting, that from November 2014, about $2.1billion was withdrawn from the excess crude account without the approval of the National Economic Council (NEC).
“This has never happened before and for us this is profound. We are talking about transparency, we are talking about change. And what we saw from those numbers I believe that Nigerians are entitled to know, is that whereas the NNPC claimed to have earned N8.1 trillion, what NNPC paid into the federation account from 2012 to May 2015 was N4.3trillion.
“What it means is that NNPC withheld and spent N3.8 trillion.
“The major revelation here is that for the entire federation — that is the federal government, the states and all the 774 local governments — the amount the NNPC paid into the federation account for distribution to this three tiers of government came to N4.3 trillion and NNPC alone took and spent N3.8 trillion.
“Which means the cost of running NNPC is much more than the cost of running the Federal Government. That tells you how much is missing, what is mismanaged, what is stolen, they are huge figures.”
“If NNPC needs to spend money, it is obliged to prepare its budget like every other business enterprise. That budget will be scrutinized by the executive and forwarded to the National Assembly and the National Assembly will accordingly appropriate it.
“If the federal government cannot spend without appropriation, why should any agency spend without appropriation?”
The Edo state governor also noted that president Buhari promised that henceforth, all monies must go to the federation account.
“What you need you budget for, Nigeria cannot continue with you earn the money and spend it. Where is transparency? Where is the role of the National Assembly? So if you were doing that you won’t have a situation where the NNPC alone will spend N3.8 trillion and remit to the federal, states and local governments N4.3 trillion which means NNPC is taking about 47 per cent and that explains all the leakages you are talking about.”
“We are not reinventing the wheel, that is the way it used to be and that is the way the constitution says it should,” he said.