Missing $20b: Mystery Over Audit Report, Nigeria’s Finance Minister Covering Up Corruption At The NNPC
Nigeria’s most powerful Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has refused to release the much-publicized probe set up to investigate the theft of $20 billion from the country’s treasury through the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
In February 2014, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is both Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, told Nigerians that the federal government had appointed independent auditors to look into the books of the NNPC and unravel the huge theft which had been exposed by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, at that time the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Sanusi, who subsequently became Emir of Kano, was booted out of the CBN by President Jonathan for exposing the scandalous graft and misappropriation of funds at the NNPC. Sanusi also exposed the laundering of billions of dollars in revenues that ought to have accrued to the NNPC by shady businessmen close to the president, especially Jide Omokore.
Okonjo-Iweala, deflecting criticism, re-affirmed in May that the accounting firm PriceWaterHouse had been hired to probe the allegations and that the report would be ready by the end of November.
On December 7, one week after that deadline, SaharaReporters wrote to the minister requesting a copy of the audit.
Neither the minister nor her assistant on Media, Paul Nwabikwu, responded to the request.
SaharaReporters also contacted PriceWaterHouse global offices in the US to request information about the completion of the audit and to ask for a copy. In a conversation with Steven Silber, who serves as press contact for PWC’s Auditing and Accounting Center for Board Governance, Risk Assurance Services Deals, he requested an email stating our request. We sent that email immediately but Mr. Silber did not respond to it.