Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Nigeria’s former minister of finance said on Tuesday night that the $2 billion she was alleged to have withdrawn from Excess Crude Account without authorisation was used to pay for fuel subsidy on the instruction of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
She however said the issue was discussed at the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), a statutory body which is chaired by the Minister of State for Finance in which all the states are represented.
The former Minister however said FAAC did not approve the withdrawal.
It will be recalled that Nigerian state governors had after the inauguration of the National Economic Council about two weeks ago accused Okonjo-Iweala of spending $2 billion from the ECA, a pool of funds which belonged to the three tiers of government.
Adams Oshiomole, the governor of Edo state told journalists that there has been a depletion in the funds from $4.1 billion as at November 2014 to $2.1 billion, even when there was no authorisation for any withdrawal from the funds known to state chief executives.
The governors had subsequently set up a committee made up of four of their members to investigate the withdrawals.
“Payments made were used for paying for petroleum subsidies for the Nigerian people and were approved by Mr President,” Iweala said in a statement issued by Paul Nwaibuikwu, her media assistant.
“Therefore there is no question of mismanaging any resources here,” she added
Okonjo-Iweala also said FAAC did not approve such expenditures, but “that all these expenditures were discussed at FAAC meetings attended by Finance Commissioners from the 36 states.”