PMB
PMB

buhariLAGOS (Reuters) – Nigerian authorities have seen documents suggesting the proceeds from past crude oil sales were diverted to personal accounts rather than reaching government coffers, President Muhammadu Buhari said in a wide-ranging interview on Wednesday.

Africa’s biggest economy faces its worst economic crisis in years, since it relies on oil exports for about 58 percent of government revenue. The sharp fall in oil prices over the past year has hit those revenues hard.

This problem has been exacerbated by the long-standing mismanagement of oil revenue. Buhari has previously said treasury coffers were virtually empty when he took office in May and that “mind-boggling” sums of money had been stolen.

The 73-year-old former military ruler, who won April elections after campaigning on an anti-corruption ticket, outlined progress made by his government in a two-hour “media chat” with three journalists broadcast live on state television.

“We have some documents where Nigerian crude oil was lifted illegally and the proceeds were put into some personal accounts instead of the federal government accounts,” said Buhari.

The president said stolen money had already been recovered by the government. He did not disclose the sums involved and said he could not provide more details because various cases were being taken to court.

A former oil minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, is under investigation as part of a crackdown on corruption in the oil industry. She has denied any wrongdoing. Buhari’s latest comments suggested other officials might also be named.

A 2013 investigation by former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi raised questions about the alleged disappearance of about $20 billion in oil revenues.

Clad in a white kaftan, the president answered questions on a wide range of topics, from security to the economy, unemployment and the Biafra secessionist movement.

Smiling frequently and at times laughing, Buhari seemed more at ease in the public interview format than his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, who widely considered to have responded to with rambling answers.

Buhari said the government was prepared to hold talks with the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in a bid to secure the release of around 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from the northeastern town of Chibok last year.

“If a credible leadership of Boko Haram can be established and they tell us where those girls are, we are prepared to negotiate with them without any preconditions,” said Buhari.

However, he said there was no firm intelligence on the whereabouts of the girls, whose abduction in April 2014 prompted an international outcry, or whether they are still alive.

Boko Haram has been waging a six-year campaign to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. More than 1,000 people have been killed in attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants since Buhari took office. In the latest flare-up, two suicide attacks killed at least 48 people on Monday.

The president also reiterated his belief that Nigeria’s currency should not be devalued further, despite the central bank’s growing struggles to keep the naira at current levels.

And he backed measures imposed by the central bank to restrict access to foreign exchange, which have not gone down well with investors. “The foreign currency restrictions cannot be lifted because the money is not there,” the president said.

Buhari added that “productive industries” – such as manufacturers – should be identified and allocated foreign exchange to pay for “essential materials” rather than to “those who want to import rice and toothpicks”.


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  • vic

    YOU DAURA ILLITERATE AND CLUELESS LOW-LIFE BEAST OF NO CONSCIENCE , YOU ARE TOTALLY BLANK AS TO WHAT IS HAPPENING UNDER YOUR OWN NOSE IN NIGERIA.

    YOU HAVE NO WAYS AND MEANS TO DEAL WITH LOOTER GOVERNORS AND MINISTERS MANY OF WHOM COME FROM YOUR OWN LOOTER AND CLUELESS PARTY. YOU ARE UNJUST, SELFISH AND PARTIAL IN YOUR TREATMENT OF YOUR OPPONENTS AS WE HAVE SEEN RECENTLY, ALTHOUGH I DO NOT BELONG TO EITHER OF THE TWO CLUELESS CORRUPT POLITICAL PARTIES, APC AND PDP OR ANY OTHER PARTY.

    YOU JUST FUDGED IN AFTER DECEIVING THE MASSES, YOU HAVE NO CONTROL WHATEVER, OVER ANYTHING IN THE COUNTRY.

    YOU HAVE PROVEN INSENSITIVE AND INCAPABLE OF UPHOLDING PEOPLES’ FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND THE RULE OF LAW BY NOT EVEN PAYING WORKERS SALARIES AND PENSIONS IN TIME, TODAY BEING 31ST DECEMBER, 2015, FEDERAL WORKERS HAVE NOT RECIVED THEIR SALARIES AND PENSION UO TO THIS DAY. YOU REALLY ARE A INSENSITIVE CLUELESS BEAST OF LITTLE OR NO CONSCIENCE BECAUSE IF YOU HAD ANY CONSCIENCE YOU WOULD NOT BE TREATING HARDWORKING WORKERS OF NIGERIA LIKE THIS. YOU CONTINUE TO DO THIS TO WORKERS 7 MONTHS INTO YOUR ADMINISTRATION HAS ONLY EARNED YOU SHAME AND HATRED FOR YOU. IS THAT THE CHANGE, MR DAURA ILLITERATE, YOU HAVE BEEN PROMISING TO NIGERIAN MASSES????

    FURTHERMORE, YOU ARE AN ARROGANT AND A LOW-LIFE VINDICTIVE MAN ONLY TRYING TO PICK AT YOUR OPPONENTS AND PAST ENEMIES OF YOURS WHO PUNISHED YOU. DO NOT WORRY, YOUR OWN TIME WILL COME SOON FOR SUCH PUNISHMENTS.

    IF YOU THINK MANY OF YOUR PARTY MEMBERS ARE NOT CORRUPT THEN THINK OF MONEY BAG DOLLAR MEN LIKE ATIKU AND TINUBU WHO ARE DAILY CAMPING IN DUBAI LOADED WITH ILLEGALLY ACQUIRED DOLLARS AND POUNDS AS IF DUBAI IS THEIR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR WHILE STARVING THE ORDINARY CITIZENS OF NIGERIA TO ACQUIRE DOLLARS AND POUNDS FOR THEIR LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES, FOR NIGERIAN PENSIONERS IN DIASPORA AND FOR CHILDREN ALREADY SCHOOLING IN UK , USA DENYING THEM EDUCATION ABROAD MIDSTREAM. YOU MUST BE A COLD-BLOODED CALLOUS FOOL TO DO SO.

    MR DAURA DUFFER, YOU TURNED OUT TO BE A PERFECT PEASANT PRESIDENT DAILY TELLING NIGERIANS STORIES ON CORRUPTION AS IF THAT WILL PUT FOOD ON THE TABLES OF POOR MASSES OF NIGERIA WHOM YOU PROMISED GOOD LIFE DURING YOUR ELECTION CAMPAIGN. MR DEADWOOD BUHARI FROM DAURA, YOU ARE JUST A SITTING WHITE PAINTED DUCK WITHOUT ANY DEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR THE COUNTRY BUT ONLY THE PLANS FOR DEVELOPING YOURS AND YOUR CORRUPT COHORTS POCKETS WAITING UNDER YOUR WINGS.

    IT IS CLEAR TO US NOW, AFTER CLUELESS JONATHAN YOU ARE JUST ANOTHER CLUELESS CURSE AND A DEADWOOD, FOR OUR DEAR COUNTRY, NIGERIA.

    MAY YOU BE PUNISHED FOR THE SINS COMMITTED BY YOU ON THE POOR MASSES OF NIGERIA FOR YOUR DECEIT AND DISHONESTY AND PERISH IN THE DAURA DESERT UNATTENDE4D.

  • vic

    AND YOU THINK THESE DAILY STORIES ARE ENOUGH TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLES OF POOR MASSES OF NIGERIA?????

    • muazu wali

      Prejudice and Envy are the two sicknesses of the heart. You should see a psychiatrist. You are sick.

      • vic

        may be, you have identified your own sickness. you look like a twisted mind with no rationality.

  • vic

    DAURA DUFFER, STOP YOUR PROPAGANDA AND MOVE INTO ACTION, THIS IS NO ELECTION CAMPAIGN.

  • vic

    NIG. PILOT, DARE TO PUBLISH MY DETAIL COMMENTS ON DEADWOOD BUHARI AND HIS DOUBLE FACED POLICIES HARMING NIGERIA AND NIGERIANS TODAY. WHY ARE YOU HOLDING MY LEGITIMATE COMMENTS ON BUHARI?? BUHARI SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH LIES AND DECEIT TO NIGERIANS.