The Nigerian government has finally opened up on why it has refused to disclose the full findings of investigations into the alleged missing $20 billion oil money, several months after a forensic examination had been concluded by an independent firm.
The audit report by PriceWaterHouseCoopers on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, accused of diverting the money, has been ready since September 2014, but the government has declined repeated demands to make the document public.
Amid pressure from the public and the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, the government early February issued a “highlight” of the report, with a conclusion that the alleged missing $20 billion, exposed by a former Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, was a farce.
In an interview with the Financial Times of London, published Monday, Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, said the government could not publish the report ahead of elections as only the country’s Auditor General has the powers to do so.
Even more important, the minister said the government was not making the report public to avoid a “rabid opposition”- a reference to the APC – from finding “all sorts of minute detail [in the full report] to create concern”.