The Ministry of Finance yesterday again debunked the position of Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State that the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was responsible for the delay of the African Development Bank water project in his state, describing it as a complete fabrication.
The ministry said in spite of “this false and unfounded statement, it would continue to observe the highest standards of fairness and professionalism in handling any issues involving Rivers and every other state.”
In a statement captioned ‘Governor Amaechi’s Campaign of Falsehood Falsehood Cannot Stand’ and signed by the Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, the ministry said it was “unfortunate that Amaechi is persisting in his outrageous and totally illogical campaign of falsehood against the Federal Ministry of Finance and the minister.
“His statement that Okonjo-Iweala is responsible for the delay of the African Development Bank water project is a complete fabrication.
“As the ministry had previously explained, the project is going through the processes and must get final approval from the board of the AfDB and the Federal Executive Council before the minister can sign it. So the idea that Okonjo-Iweala has refused to sign it is preposterous and totally inaccurate,” the ministry said.
The statement noted that Okonjo-Iweala was not responsible for managing the N257 billion that Rivers State has received from the Federation Account within the first 10 months of 2013, adding therefore, that the suggestion that she was somehow responsible for the challenges confronting the state did not make sense.
“The governor is advised to look in the mirror if he wants to identify the source of his problems. It is sad that a state governor can engage in this kind of undignified charade. The question that fair minded people must ask is: is Amaechi the only governor the ministry deals with?
“Why is he the only one negatively obsessed with Okonjo-Iweala? The ministry has a good relationship with many governors and deals with issues concerning their states based on professionalism and equity,” the statement added.
According to the statement, “in spite of this false and unfounded statement, the ministry will continue to observe the highest standards of fairness and professionalism in handling any issues involving Rivers and every other state.”
It concluded that Nigeria's best interest will continue to be the beacon that guides the work of the Federal Ministry of Finance under Okonjo-Iweala.