Over 12.7bn Missing Funds: NUJ Seeks Explanation From Minister Of Solid Minerals

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BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – In keeping with the Constitutional prerogative as contained in Chapter 22 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 as Amended, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Abuja Council has petitioned the Minister of Mines and Steel Development to explain the STATIC cumulative revenue from solid minerals of over N9.9 billion for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The NUJ equally demanded an explanation from the Minister in line with Chapter 22 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 as Amended and fundamentally, the Freedom of Information Act 2011, how and why the sum of N2,838,351,664.97 (Two Billion Eight Hundred and Thirty-Eight Million Three Hundred and Fifty-One Thousand Six Hundred and Sixty-Four Naira Ninety-Seven Kobo) collected as solid minerals revenue from January to December, 2016 was not paid into the Federation Account contrary to section 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The body of journalists gave a breakdown of the revenue accruals for the affected months which is yet to be accounted for by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to include;

MONTHS TOTAL AMOUNT IN‟MILLION

JANUARY 66,273,275.85

FEBRUARY 93,130,066.75

MARCH 153,086,030.67

APRIL 227,558,695.17

MAY `128,886,717.02

JUNE 198,194,113.82

JULY 174,076,049.19

AUGUST 588,775,004.31

SEPTEMBER 294,865,145.57

OCTOBER 352,320,869.90

NOVEMBER 263,218,416.52

DECEMBER 297,067,280.20

TOTAL N2,838,351,664.97 (Office of the Auditor General)

In the petition signed by Comrades Emmanuel Ogbeche and Ochiaka Ugwu, chairman and Secretary respectively of the NUJ, Abuja Council, the duo explained that Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals and Steel Development, as an important ministry of government saddled with the responsibility of providing policy and technical direction as well as implementation of same for the development of minerals mining, preservation and steel production in Nigeria, has the responsibility to bring to account issues of management, accountability and transparency.

The NUJ FCT therefore said that its petition is in line with the Constitutional prerogative as contained in Chapter 22 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 as Amended and fundamentally the Freedom of Information Act 2011 is engaged in the development of a Good Governance and Accountability Report based on available queries and petitions from key government institutions, stakeholders and even individuals.

The petition further states; “To this end, we request the Hon. Minister of Solid Minerals and Steel Development to provide explanations to the issues raised in the petition”.

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