President Goodluck Jonathan says most of the corruption allegations against his administration are being politically motivated.
Jonathan said this in an interview broadcasted on Monday on Al Jazeera. He cited the claim of missing oil funds raised by the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who is now the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi as one of the politically motivated allegations of corruption directed at his government.
“Yes, people talk about corruption now, because it has become a political issue and when you promote something to the level of politics, normally it is blown out of proportion,” President Jonathan told Al Jazeera.
“Yes, we have corruption cases, no doubt about that. Yes, we have cases of people stealing, no doubt about that. I always said call a thief a thief. I am not saying that in Nigeria we do not have these elements of corruption or stealing.
“If you start from my former CBN governor, who said initially that $49.8billion was missing. $49.8billion is a lot of money. What is the budget of this country for God’s sake? Our federal budget has been three point something trillion, and that’s roughly on the average$18 to $20 billion a year.
“And you are saying we lost $49.8 billion. If we lose $49.8 billion, the federal and state governments will not pay salaries. I don’t know how he came by that figure.
“The next moment, he changed from $49.8 billion to $12 billion. The next day it was $20 billion. Up to this time, I don’t know which is the correct accusation,” President Jonathan said even as he admitted that he was himself yet to get a proper figure of the funds that he said were only not properly reconciled.
“There was no evidence to show that it was stolen, but just that it was not properly balanced,” Jonathan said.