Sanusi’s letter and the incompetence of the Jonathan administration – Lanre Shadiya

The dust raised by the leaked letter written by the CBN governor, Sanusu Lamido Sanusi to his boss, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan will obviously not clearing anytime soon, at least not as long as the former still occupies the seat of treasury. There have been a lot of debates on the appropriateness of such letter from a serving government official to the President. While some saw it as whistleblowing, others were very critical of it and some indeed alluded that political undertones should not be ruled out. There is no doubt that the letter will continue to generate evolving arguments especially as it formed a crucial bedrock of former president Obasanjo’s “Before it is too late” letter.

Having said this, it will be astute to critically evaluate the entire episode of the famous (or infamous in some quarters) letter. Although the objective, either genuine or not, of the letter was to escalate the decay and highhandedness of the NNPC in the non-remittance of crude oil revenue to the coffers of the Federal Government, it actually revealed how unresponsive and incompetent the Jonathan administration truly is.

As learnt, the letter was written on Wednesday, 25th September 2013. It will be safe to assume that such a letter, with the gravity and implication of its content, the integrity and national status of its sender must have been delivered to the Office of the President not later than Monday, 30th September 2013. Giving that the President is always a very busy man and acknowledging delays from preparations for, and during Nigeria’s 53rd Independence day ceremonies in the first week in October, even if his assistants and advisers lack prioritizing skills, he must have eventually taken delivery of the letter or have it read to him by Monday, 7th October, 2013 – eight working days after it was written.

It took the leakage of the letter to the world on 4th December, for Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to charge his Finance and Petroleum Ministers to sit with the CBN governor for a fact finding session. By 18th December 2013, fourteen days after the letter became public knowledge and just two days after the trio of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sanusi Lamido and Deziani Allison-Madueke sat together to review Sanusi’s claims,  a position was reached, albeit still contested even within the three officials.

This then brings my question “What was Dr. Goodluck Jonathan doing on Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s letter since receiving it on 7th October 2013 until it was leaked on 4th December 2013?”

As the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan failed the millions of Nigerians suffering in abject poverty by being carelessly unresponsive to such disturbing news of non-remittance of $49.8billion, which until December 18, was a fact from the CBN governor. One would have expected a President with the love of the people and nation at heart to immediately request a probe or set up a committee, as he always does, and establish the truth. If up to $49.8billion was said to be missing from the country’s treasury and the President did not see this as important until it was made public about 60days later, it can simply be concluded that the responsiveness of this administration to such national issues is exemplarily pathetic. Rather, the President deemed it fit to go on frivolous jamborees around the world.

While Ngozi and Deziani insisted that only $10.8billion was not remitted, Sanusi, acknowledged he erred in his initial calculation and revised his figures to $12billion. Let us choose to ignore Sanusi’s new figure of $12billion on the ground that he can no longer be trusted to do mathematical sums correctly, it is baffling to believe that the president sat in his office and heard his ministers tell the world that a part of his government cannot account for $10.8 billion. For God’s sake, this is One Trillion, Seven hundred and Six Billion and Four Hundred Million Naira (N1,706,400,000,000.00)! Have we not gone mad in this country?! What else is needed to show us that we currently do not have the kind of people trusted enough to do the right things in power? What else is needed for us to reject such unacceptable level of incompetence and ineffectiveness?

The President calling on Sanusi Lamido to resign is an appalling dimension that this issue has taken especially given that Sanusi will be leaving office in a couple of months. It remains shocking that there has been no mentioning of how the $10.8billion will be recovered, EFCC has not been called to investigate the disappearance of the revenue, no committee has been set up to recommend preventive measures to curb future “non-remittance”. It is almost proficiency being exposed than the nation being bled blue-black by sycophants and looters.

If the Petroleum Minister – under who the NNPC jurisdiction is, the Finance Minister – responsible for the book keeping and accounting of the nation and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can comfortably continue with their routine business when the nation has no trace of where $10.8billion has gone to, then, I am sorry to say that this nation is in the hands of incompetent people.

Lanre Shadiya


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