President Missed The Point On Missing N30 Trillion - Soludo Shoots Back At GEJ

Date: 25-02-2015 7:12 am (6 years ago) | Author: Mister Jay Wonder
- at 25-02-2015 07:12 AM (6 years ago)
(m)

A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Chukwuma Soludo, has released a third article responding to President Goodluck Jonathan’s claim that it was impossible for N30 trillion to have been stolen when federal budget over the last four years was less than N30 trillion.

In his article, Mr. Soludo argues that Mr. Jonathan missed the point, and suggested the President did either not read or understand his last two essays on the “mismanagement” of the economy.

Read Mr. Soludo’s full article below.
Quote
“Soludo said that under Ngozi’s watch they stole N30 trillion” but that since the sum of the federal budget over the last four years was less than N30 trillion, such an amount could not have been “stolen”. According to the President, “it is all political”. I had earlier stated that I would not make further comments on the issues until probably after the elections but since Mr. President has decided to join the fray, I am constrained to make a further brief clarification. For me, President Jonathan is a gentleman and a friend but I have a fundamental disagreement on his management of the economy. On the issues at stake, I believe that the pressures of office and the hectic electioneering campaigns have not allowed him time to read my articles or that his staff have not explained the contents to him hence he totally missed the point in his comments. For the avoidance of doubt, let me clarify as follows:

1. In my article entitled “Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Missing Trillions”, I presented some rough calculations covering: oil theft, money that ought to accrue to stock of foreign reserves, unbudgeted oil subsidy payments, customs duty waivers, leakages through the self-financing government parastatals, unremitted sums by NNPC, etc. I concluded that section of my article by noting that: “I have a long list but let me wait for now. I do not want to talk about other ‘black pots’ that impinge on national security. My estimate, Madam, is that probably more than N30 trillion has either been stolen or lost or unaccounted for or simply mismanaged under your watchful eyes in the past four years”.

2. It is evident that the monies I referred to are “off-budget”. These are monies that did not make it to the budget. I find it funny that the Government deliberately avoided the issues raised above but instead has sought to divert attention by focusing on the “federal budget”. Let me state for the record that I believe that the amount of resources that are either stolen from the economy or out-rightly mismanaged by government far exceeds the federal budget per annum. Ours is about a N100 trillion economy, and I will be shocked if the government pretends that it does not know that currently about 10% of the GDP falls into a ‘black hole’ on annual basis. We have not added figures based on counterfactual analysis such as the cost to the aggregate economy of bad or misguided economic policy. For example, in today’s Thisday newspaper, a headline news reports that “Aliko Dangote, Africa’s Richest Man, Loses $7.8 Billion as Naira, Stocks Plunge” while reporting that “In dollar terms, the devaluation has knocked more than $40 billion off the value of Nigeria’s economy”. Of course, most people predicted that oil prices would soon fall but we were caught unprepared, and today, the parallel market exchange rate is N225 to the dollar. Thus, the kind of analysis in today’s Thisday is just one little example of the kind of collateral damages–‘costs’ or ‘losses’– that mismanagement foists on the system. To repeat, my article did not focus on the federal budget: the mismanagement of the consumption budget and its unprecedented debt accumulation (with low value-for-money expenditures) are entirely different matters.

3. What I found particularly disconcerting as a Nigerian from the comments I read is the fixation to validation from the World Bank. According to Mr. President, “we asked the Minister how her colleagues at the World Bank saw the accusation”. I shook my head in disbelief. It is instructive that no one asked what Nigerians thought or ‘how Nigerians saw it’ but rather what was important to government was the impression of the World Bank. If this is the mind-set of our leaders, then ordinary citizens have real cause to worry. Well, I have read several editorial comments of Nigerian media and they do not agree with the ‘impression’ of the World Bank official. I read a similar comment by a high government official stating that World Bank officials and CNN had told them that government was doing well and therefore who else could question them. But neither the World Bank nor CNN conducts comprehensive independent surveys on the economy— they comment based on the data they are given— and their subjective “opinions” cannot substitute for hard facts. The World Bank is not a statistical agency. I can provide a long list of countries that World Bank reports praised as ‘star performers’ and they slumped into deep crisis almost immediately after. Check out the World Bank and IMF reports on the US and other countries’ economies shortly before the unprecedented global financial and economic crisis in fifty years (the Great Recession of 2008/09). Actually for many countries once they start getting such ‘praises’, then perceptive officials begin to worry. Nigeria is probably the only country where its government officials quote the World Bank while ignoring data from its own statistical agency!

A serious concern is that while government relies on external validation (opinion) as ‘proof’ of its performance, it is selective in the process—accepting the positive ones and disparaging the negative ones. Our recent exchanges illustrate the point. In my first article (26th January): “Buhari Vs Jonathan: Beyond the Elections”, I argued that “the economy seems to be on auto pilot, with confusion as to who is in charge, and government largely as a constraint. There are no big ideas, and it is difficult to see where economic policy is headed to. My thesis is that the Nigerian economy, if properly managed, should have been growing at an annual rate of about 12% given the oil boom, and poverty and unemployment should have fallen dramatically over the last five years”. No one has credibly challenged the above, except what the Financial Times of London described as a “furious response by the Minister”. But, the influential Economist Magazine of London and New York Times agreed with us. According to the Economist editorial (7th February, 2015):

    “… as Africa’s biggest economy stages its most important election since the restoration of civilian rule in 1999, and perhaps since the civil war four decades ago, Nigerians must pick between the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, who has proved an utter failure, and the opposition leader, Muhammadu Buhari….The single bright spot of his rule has been Nigeria’s economy, one of the world’s fastest-growing. Yet that is largely despite the government rather than because of it, and falling oil prices will temper the boom. The prosperity has not been broadly shared: under Mr Jonathan poverty has increased. Nigerians typically die eight years younger than their poorer neighbours in nearby Ghana”. I gave the Government an “F” grade on economic management, and the Economist described its performance as “utter failure”. The Economist also basically agreed with me that the re-basing of the economy and its observed ‘growth’ have nothing to do with government policy. Again, government has not credibly challenged the above or is the Economist’s view also ‘all political ’? Government simply waved it off. My point is that if Government has to rely on the “impressions” of external bodies, then it should be consistent and comprehensive.

4. In conclusion, let me re-state that I firmly stand by my earlier statements. These are weighty statements which I weighed carefully before issuing. I appreciate that this is an election time and so attempts would be made to trivialize, or either play politics with, or divert attention from, them. In a serious society, we should have had a good debate on these matters as they could provide some of the building blocks in trying to pick the pieces after the elections. Part of our citizen duty in a democracy is to raise such issues and demand for answers. In the meantime, I grant that our leaders are busy with campaigns but these issues won’t go away until we have a transparent resolution. Be assured that after the elections, we will be back with even more questions!















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Posted: at 25-02-2015 07:12 AM (6 years ago) | Addicted Hero
- DJSNIPPER at 25-02-2015 07:29 AM (6 years ago)
(m)
You are getting it wrong my friend. Deferred production is not stolen crude. Stolen crude is actually stolen crude. I believe the Jonathan government was taking (STEALING) the dollar equivalent of this production out of the treasury and calling it stolen crude. It was very funny because it stood steady at 40000 barrels per day for two years, how is it possible that stolen crude can be constant at 400000?. So you sir actually must be A VERY BIG FOOL for believing your governments' fake budgets over the years instead of applying yourself to find out the truth. Oil has production has always been deferred for operational reasons, apart from sabotage, pipes themes selves have been bursting due to corrosion and the lost production from that has never been put in the stolen crude basket.
Posted: at 25-02-2015 07:29 AM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- winace at 25-02-2015 07:53 AM (6 years ago)
(f)
Hmmm politic has brought aome fellow thieves out of hiding and they are ranting like a mad woman who they took somethg from. Anyway make we dey watch.
Posted: at 25-02-2015 07:53 AM (6 years ago) | Addicted Hero
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- beneno at 25-02-2015 07:58 AM (6 years ago)
(m)
 Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
Posted: at 25-02-2015 07:58 AM (6 years ago) | Addicted Hero
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- discollins at 25-02-2015 08:55 AM (6 years ago)
(m)
Quote from: DJSNIPPER on 25-02-2015 07:29 AM
You are getting it wrong my friend. Deferred production is not stolen crude. Stolen crude is actually stolen crude. I believe the Jonathan government was taking (STEALING) the dollar equivalent of this production out of the treasury and calling it stolen crude. It was very funny because it stood steady at 40000 barrels per day for two years, how is it possible that stolen crude can be constant at 400000?. So you sir actually must be A VERY BIG FOOL for believing your governments' fake budgets over the years instead of applying yourself to find out the truth. Oil has production has always been deferred for operational reasons, apart from sabotage, pipes themes selves have been bursting due to corrosion and the lost production from that has never been put in the stolen crude basket.

Why chase a rat while the house is on fire?
Posted: at 25-02-2015 08:55 AM (6 years ago) | Upcoming
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- princeokrex at 25-02-2015 08:57 AM (6 years ago)
(m)
This guy is making sense. sentiment will not allow us to see the truth now bcos of our selfish reasons. God help the ordinary man in this country who tossed up and down like the wave Lips Sealed Lips Sealed Lips Sealed
Posted: at 25-02-2015 08:57 AM (6 years ago) | Upcoming
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- Abubu86 at 25-02-2015 09:43 AM (6 years ago)
(m)
Soludo is among d right thinking Nigerians that want 2 see dis country 2 grow
Posted: at 25-02-2015 09:43 AM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- Larry28 at 25-02-2015 10:02 AM (6 years ago)
(f)
HMMMM
Posted: at 25-02-2015 10:02 AM (6 years ago) | Hero
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- softhils at 25-02-2015 10:12 AM (6 years ago)
(m)
They are all thieves including soludo
Posted: at 25-02-2015 10:12 AM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
Reply
- Ritabrenice at 25-02-2015 10:37 AM (6 years ago)
(f)
Thieves
Posted: at 25-02-2015 10:37 AM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- freethinker at 25-02-2015 10:41 AM (6 years ago)
(m)
LET SOLUDO GO AND HAVE SOME REST
Posted: at 25-02-2015 10:41 AM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- echeeche at 25-02-2015 01:20 PM (6 years ago)
(m)
Too must issues to be settled
Posted: at 25-02-2015 01:20 PM (6 years ago) | Hero
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- EmekaBlue at 25-02-2015 02:04 PM (6 years ago)
(m)
 Roll Eyes
Posted: at 25-02-2015 02:04 PM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
Reply
- Dpumping at 25-02-2015 02:31 PM (6 years ago)
(m)
Hello my fellow Nigerians, i have always been here to read about Nigeria news but occasionally it breaks my heart that we Nigerian youth and the future of this great nation never seize to be sentimental and picking sides. Dont get me wrong i advocated for Johanathan but unfortunately he has failed us and i will not say Buhari is a saint either but believe me if we continue at this rate Nigeria is going it will crumble before our eyes. All this man has said here is the bitter truth, look inwards and check the debt nigeria as a country owes now, not to talk of the debt we are still going to owe, look at the present 2015 budget made, we have not even started spending based on the budget nigeria is already at loss and planning on borrowing from IMF/ World bank based on some calculation made based on the oil price of $270/barrel and in the world market it is about 220 to 225. so it beats my heart to say this Nigeria economy is nose diving and believe me this is a deliberate act of making the people in power rich. I will give a good example i happen to make a research on the UK economy development and believe the growth of uk till date is solely based on tax from working individuals compare to nigeria with natural resources and still we get them sell abroad through some certain individuals and still buy back at an alarming price through this set of third parties. i think it is high time we opened our inner eyes and stop being sentimental.we have no future under this present regime and trust me i dont know who can move us ahead because the canca worm has eaten nigeria so deep. May god help us
Posted: at 25-02-2015 02:31 PM (6 years ago) | Newbie
Reply
- egwuevans17 at 25-02-2015 03:34 PM (6 years ago)
(m)
 Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
Posted: at 25-02-2015 03:34 PM (6 years ago) | Upcoming
Reply
- Ujuleo1980 at 25-02-2015 05:55 PM (6 years ago)
(m)
Only God cn save 9ja
Posted: at 25-02-2015 05:55 PM (6 years ago) | Upcoming
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- european1 at 25-02-2015 06:35 PM (6 years ago)
(f)
Soludo has just said the bitter truth... but some pupils that doesn't want the growth of our beloved Nation in this Forum where attacking him... because they or member of there Family where benefiting from the way  this clueless president is given chance to corruption to destroy our Country... Nigeria..but soonest  by God grace all of you that support or benefit from the corruption in Nigeria will be destroy..the way Jonathan destroy Nigeria Economy.... with all your Generation!!
Posted: at 25-02-2015 06:35 PM (6 years ago) | Newbie
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- juddycoil at 25-02-2015 09:06 PM (6 years ago)
(m)
Quote from: Dpumping on 25-02-2015 02:31 PM
Hello my fellow Nigerians, i have always been here to read about Nigeria news but occasionally it breaks my heart that we Nigerian youth and the future of this great nation never seize to be sentimental and picking sides. Dont get me wrong i advocated for Johanathan but unfortunately he has failed us and i will not say Buhari is a saint either but believe me if we continue at this rate Nigeria is going it will crumble before our eyes. All this man has said here is the bitter truth, look inwards and check the debt nigeria as a country owes now, not to talk of the debt we are still going to owe, look at the present 2015 budget made, we have not even started spending based on the budget nigeria is already at loss and planning on borrowing from IMF/ World bank based on some calculation made based on the oil price of $270/barrel and in the world market it is about 220 to 225. so it beats my heart to say this Nigeria economy is nose diving and believe me this is a deliberate act of making the people in power rich. I will give a good example i happen to make a research on the UK economy development and believe the growth of uk till date is solely based on tax from working individuals compare to nigeria with natural resources and still we get them sell abroad through some certain individuals and still buy back at an alarming price through this set of third parties. i think it is high time we opened our inner eyes and stop being sentimental.we have no future under this present regime and trust me i dont know who can move us ahead because the canca worm has eaten nigeria so deep. May god help us

u have said it all
Posted: at 25-02-2015 09:06 PM (6 years ago) | Gistmaniac
Reply