By Patrick Andrew
The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, yesterday said the alleged missing $20 billion as claimed by the suspended governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was a product of voodoo statistics that was intended to scare away foreign investors from Nigeria.
Maku, who insisted that Sanusi’s utterances in respect of the alleged unremitted lump sum from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Federation Account were frightening and inimical to the nation’s economy, said it was not proper for a Central Bank governor to make statements relating to the financial position of the economy without verifying the facts.
“You don’t say something without verifying it. No CBN governor makes statement on his nation’s economy without verifying it. That $49.8 billion was missing as first claimed and then reduced subsequently to $12 billion and finally $10.8 billion clearly showed that the claims were not verified.
“In fact, it was based on voodoo statistics. As the CBN governor, if you wanted to say something relating to the economy, as the manager of the nation’s monetary policies, you must verify your facts because a central bank governor must weigh his utterances before making them public”.
According to Maku, the figures presented by Sanusi were not consistent and were capable of creating tension in the economy “because the pronouncements of the central bank affect the capital market, monetary policies, indices of the country’s economy, and so the governor must be certain of the facts.
“Even if a central bank governor had to say something adversely about the economy of his nation he must weigh them, you don’t say things to frighten foreign investors, you have to be certain of facts and figures and then say in it a manner that will not scare away investors,” he said.
He said, “Sanusi is not a whistle blower but governor of the CBN. I have not heard in any nation where the central bank governor is a whistle blower,” he said stressing that as the chairman of the board of the CBN, which is investigating the submission of the Financial Report Council of Nigeria (FRCN) reports on him, he had to step aside because he can’t sit in a matter that he is being investigated for.
Peoples Daily recalls though that Sanusi had hired three legal experts to look at the statute establishing the Nigeria Petroleum Development Corporation (NPDC) which the NNPC claimed it had transferred $6 billion to because it is not statutorily required to remit its yields to the federation account.