Nigeria’s minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi on Thursday denied reports in some section of the media that he was responsible for leaking a letter written by former central bank governor, Emir Mohammed Sanusi II then known as Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
In the letter addressed to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, the former CBN governor had written to complain about the failure of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to remit the sum of $49billion to the federation account.
According to Vanguard, Emir Sanusi had during a recent interview with Forbes hinted that Amaechi surreptitiously leaked the letter to the press. The minister reacting through his media office however denied the claim even though he admitted showing the letter to some officials of the United States government.
The statement also explained that Amaechi got the letter from a concerned Nigerian and as chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) shared the content of the letter with his governor colleagues so they could join in his quest to challenge the impropriety of non-remittance of funds meant for the federation account.
One other person Amaechi admits showing the letter is Senator Bukola Saraki (now senate president) who was said to be investigating some issues in the oil sector at the time.
A portion of the statement read:
“When Amaechi got the letter, he spoke with Sanusi who was still the CBN governor to confirm the authenticity of the letter. Sanusi confirmed to Amaechi that he wrote the letter. During their conversation, Amaechi made it abundantly clear to the then CBN governor that the bleeding of the nation had to be stopped, all non-remitted funds remitted and that he (Amaechi) was going to use the letter to do whatever is in the best interest of the nation and Nigerians, which was the stoppage of the non-remittance and the recovery of all the non-remitted funds from oil sale.
“The CBN Governor didn’t agree with Amaechi on the way forward. Considering that the letter was given to Amaechi as Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, he shared the letter with his colleague governors first, and with Senator Bukola Saraki (now Senate President), who before and around that period was doing some work or/and investigation around the oil sector in the Senate.
“Around that period, a delegation from the United States of America government, from the offices of the Secretaries of State and Defense visited Amaechi in Port Harcourt to discuss the issue of oil theft in Nigeria. From their records, they gave Amaechi figures of billions of dollars (about $7 billion dollars, annually) that was being lost to oil theft in Nigeria.
“They were discussing the issue and figures of oil theft, and that was how the CBN governor’s letter to President Jonathan came up. In the presence of journalists covering the visit, Amaechi brought out the Sanusi letter to the visiting American delegation to buttress the point that Nigeria was losing far more money to non-remittance of proceeds from oil sale into the federation account, which everyone seemed to concur, was in itself, another form and another dimension to the issue of oil theft.“