Okonjo-Iweala Releases More Half-Truths About Fraud-Ridden Import Waiver Scheme

Date: 25-12-2013 8:57 am (7 years ago) | Author: Jossy Donald
[1] 2
- at 25-12-2013 08:57 AM (7 years ago)
(m)
Yesterday, SaharaReporters wrote a letter to Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to explain her ministry’s questionable administration of the country’s import waiver scheme. Today, her Ministry issued a statement which “categorically refutes the allegation that it is running a corrupt waiver policy.”

Titled “The Truth About the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Waiver Policy,” the statement was signed by Ms. Okonjo-Iweala’s Special Adviser, Paul C. Nwabuikwu. It recalled previous editorials published by The Punch Newspaper accusing the government and the Ministry of corruption in the administration of the waiver policy, and challenging the Ministry to publish details of recipients of those waivers.

The statement claimed that the Nigerian government introduced a complete reform of the waiver policy two years ago, adding that waivers are now only granted on a sectoral basis. “This means that every company in the sector enjoys the same waiver privileges. All companies or entities involved in a sector or given activity will benefit from the same waivers once they meet the necessary criteria,” according to the ministry’s release.

It added that the Federal Ministry of Finance had never denied issuing waivers to the organizers of the African First Ladies Forum conference.

“This official event for First Ladies of all the other African countries necessitated vehicles for the transport of these visiting dignitaries. The waiver granted for this occasion is similar to other waivers issued to various state governments and government institutions such as Rivers, Lagos, and Akwa Ibom for similar official sporting and conference events,” said the ministry.

SaharaReporters stands by its position that the import waiver scheme administered by Ms. Okonjo-Iweala’s ministry is frequently manipulated and administered in a way that fosters fraud and corruption. Even though the minister authorized the publication of the names of beneficiaries from waivers, it was clear that the list was artfully doctored. The document was compiled in a way designed to feature names that would attract little or no curiosity. In addition, the document referred the public to the main page of the Budget Office rather than to a specific url containing the waiver information.

Besides, if any proof were required that the waiver policy was rotten, it can be found easily in the long-running scandal involving Aviation Minister Stella Oduah’s deal to purchase two BMW cars at the cost of $1.6 million. Ms. Okonjo-Iweala has admitted publicly that one the waivers she granted to the Lagos State government had been fraudulently converted by an auto dealer,   

The fact is that Coscharis Motors, the auto dealer involved in the scandal, is a major recipient of import waivers from Mrs. Iweala.

We ask: Why has the Federal Ministry of Finance found it so difficult to release all the names of beneficiaries from import waivers, including public officials in the latest list? Why was the First Lady of Nigeria, whose office is unknown to the Nigerian constitution, offered waivers to import BMWs for a conference she hosted? And why did Ms. Okonjo-Iweala not question the fact that the First Lady then handed the waivers to Coscharis Motors Limited, an auto dealer implicated in some fraudulent deals, including Oduahgate?

In any event, Africa has only about 54 countries. If all the continent’s First Ladies attended the conference hosted by Mrs. Patience Jonathan, they would have numbered just slightly more than 50. Why were import waivers approved for 200 cars when 55 would have been enough? Were some cars meant to be given as take-away packages to Mrs. Jonathan’s guests or government ministers that approved the scam?

In its latest statement, the Federal Ministry of Finance claimed that it welcomed “all legitimate inquiries and criticisms” and that it could not be expected to remain silent when falsification and distortion of facts occur.

We insist—and the facts bear out—that the distortions are on the side of the Ministry, which seems to believe that Nigerians can be blindsided at every turn with half-truths, half-baked lies, and doctored information. We will continue to challenge the Ministry to tell the truth, to be completely transparent in its transactions and accountable to the Nigerian people whose money it is, after all. That accountability and transparency ought to begin with the release of full information on the waivers, not the piecemeal approach that has so far characterized the ministry’s actions.

Only when this is done can Ms. Okonjo-Iweala and her aides, known for doublespeak, hold their heads high and legitimately claim to have spoken “The Truth about the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Waiver Policy.”

http://saharareporters.com/news-page/okonjo-iweala-releases-more-half-truths-about-fraud-ridden-import-waiver-scheme


Posted: at 25-12-2013 08:57 AM (7 years ago) | Hero
- jossy4reall at 25-12-2013 09:06 AM (7 years ago)
(m)
I wonder why no public office in Naija can be trusted for anything..I tire for Nigeria ur country

Posted: at 25-12-2013 09:06 AM (7 years ago) | Hero
Reply
- wisewisdom at 25-12-2013 11:44 AM (7 years ago)
(m)
that's their way, one day all the truths will be open.
Posted: at 25-12-2013 11:44 AM (7 years ago) | Upcoming
Reply
- Wysetots at 25-12-2013 11:46 AM (7 years ago)
(m)
Quote from: jossy4reall on 25-12-2013 09:06 AM
I wonder why no public office in Naija can be trusted for anything..I tire for Nigeria ur country

It's simple.....they all have one mission....Loot, Kill and Destroy.

Corruption is just the trail left behind.
Posted: at 25-12-2013 11:46 AM (7 years ago) | Hero
Reply
- ObyWBabaK at 25-12-2013 12:26 PM (7 years ago)
(m)
 Lips Sealed Lips Sealed Lips Sealed Lips Sealed
Posted: at 25-12-2013 12:26 PM (7 years ago) | Gistmaniac
Reply
- Austinjack at 25-12-2013 04:25 PM (7 years ago)
(m)
Am tired of anytin Nigeria
Posted: at 25-12-2013 04:25 PM (7 years ago) | Upcoming
Reply
- osarobo62 at 25-12-2013 04:37 PM (7 years ago)
(m)
i think dem say na Saint JONAH be our presido Grin Grin
Posted: at 25-12-2013 04:37 PM (7 years ago) | Hero
Reply
- abdulwahid at 25-12-2013 05:43 PM (7 years ago)
(m)
Vote PDP! You will see more miracle
Posted: at 25-12-2013 05:43 PM (7 years ago) | Newbie
Reply
- N_W_A at 25-12-2013 06:26 PM (7 years ago)
(m)
Nigeria sinking fast in corruption.
Posted: at 25-12-2013 06:26 PM (7 years ago) | Upcoming
Reply
- latuak at 25-12-2013 06:29 PM (7 years ago)
(f)
what a failed state !!! civilians have failed us. power from the people
Posted: at 25-12-2013 06:29 PM (7 years ago) | Upcoming
Reply
- zoe61 at 25-12-2013 09:43 PM (7 years ago)
(f)
the truth most be told
Posted: at 25-12-2013 09:43 PM (7 years ago) | Hero
Reply
- micc at 25-12-2013 11:05 PM (7 years ago)
(m)
I just tire
Posted: at 25-12-2013 11:05 PM (7 years ago) | Hero
Reply
- Asterimou at 26-12-2013 12:57 AM (7 years ago)
(m)
knuckle headed Jona. cos he is confused and incompetent, he hired the so called expert. the experts are aware of this. if he fire anyone, he will be in the dark completely not knowing what to do, so he kept quiet and watch them look
Posted: at 26-12-2013 12:57 AM (7 years ago) | Gistmaniac
Reply
- paulohking at 26-12-2013 01:57 AM (7 years ago)
(m)
warefa Roll Eyes
Posted: at 26-12-2013 01:57 AM (7 years ago) | Hero
Reply
- freeway001 at 26-12-2013 07:29 AM (7 years ago)
(m)
Jonathan is a dangerous tickling BOMB to Nigeria. Speaking softly or in tongues has nothing to do with looting nations treasure. And his South south people seems adamant.   Can't wait till 2015 election ends.
Posted: at 26-12-2013 07:29 AM (7 years ago) | Upcoming
Reply
- smith_love43 at 26-12-2013 07:59 AM (7 years ago)
(m)
Huh?? what will solve Nigeria problem Huh? is to kill the own leader Huh? and i think that such a thin,, will happen one day?? weather by me  or others i believe Huh? 
Posted: at 26-12-2013 07:59 AM (7 years ago) | Upcoming
Reply
- blackdudu at 26-12-2013 08:18 AM (7 years ago)
(m)
na opportunity u get idiot ugly bastard
Posted: at 26-12-2013 08:18 AM (7 years ago) | Upcoming
Reply
- edostate at 26-12-2013 08:25 AM (7 years ago)
(m)
NIGERIA UNA TOO MUCH FOR Corruption
Posted: at 26-12-2013 08:25 AM (7 years ago) | Upcoming
Reply
- osamabinladin at 26-12-2013 09:05 AM (7 years ago)
(m)
 Angry Sad
Posted: at 26-12-2013 09:05 AM (7 years ago) | Hero
Reply
- obhiseh at 26-12-2013 10:40 AM (7 years ago)
(m)
Nigeria  is a complets jungle . From the presidency  to the local govt councellor and all other individuals in govt positions are corrupt. The masses have nothing to do about it. There is no effect of christianity in Nigeria  among those mentioned above .
Posted: at 26-12-2013 10:40 AM (7 years ago) | Newbie
Reply
[1] 2