Census Figures: FG Queries Odimegwu, NPC Boss
- How He, CBN Gov Landed In Trouble
- Lobbyists Besiege Aso Rock
The Federal Government has issued a query to the chairman of National Population Commission (NPC), Mr Festus Odimegwu, over his declaration that Nigeria has never held any credible census.
The query, which emanated from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Pius Anyim, demanded Odimegwu to provide details to back up the claims credited to him.
It was confirmed that the government was worried that a high ranking government official would be seen to make comments with tendency to rubbish efforts at nation building by the past administrations.
Sources close to the administration confirmed to the Nigerian Tribune that the query was issued on Monday and received at the office of the NPC boss.
A similar query was served on the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, over acts that indicated “turbulent governance” at the helm of the CBN.
It was learnt that government would await the response by Odimegwu before taking further actions.
As regards Sanusi, it was gathered that his response to queries were already examined, as it had provided background for certain actions which the government would soon unfold.
A source said while the NPC boss was attempting to declare his readiness to conduct a credible census this time, he appeared to have gone overboard.
Details also emerged as to how Sanusi landed in troubled waters, thus placing his job on the line.
Investigations by the Nigerian Tribune confirmed that a recent forensic audit of CBN’s books led to a number of indictments by foreign experts, who were brought in by the government.
Sources confirmed that fallout of the audit was the query issued to the CBN governor recently by the government.
It was gathered that the report of the auditors who carried out forensic investigation on the accounts of the apex bank angered the government, especially after reading some financial activities considered inconsistent with the position of government.
Besides, it was also gathered that the administration had been embarrassed on several occasions on the political incorrectness of certain actions taken by the CBN governor.
A source said that the report indicted the CBN board down the line, with a number of steps recommended for action.
One of the measures, it was gathered, was to ensure that the National Assembly carried through the planned amendment of the CBN Act, to ensure that the budget was approved by the lawmakers.
“The government discovered a number of inconsistencies in the books of the CBN and there is also the question of failure to establish and build institutional capacity to back up government reforms.
“The government is concerned about agriculture but, so far, the CBN has reduced funding of that sector to mere interventions, after it failed to build agricultural banks and other credit agencies that should provide needed support to the sector.
“If care is not taken, the reforms embarked upon by the current minister will not be institutionalised and that will have multiplier effects on the achievements of this government,” a source said.
It also said the government had equally asked experts to X-ray the impact of CBN policies in recent times, especially the steps taken alongside banking consolidation policy.
It was confirmed that the report frowned on the huge turnout of workers as a result of the implementation of the policy, which was described as a huge disincentive for the original policy.
As a result of the damning reports, it was gathered that Sanusi was actually penciled in for sack, information that triggered a flurry of lobbying activities.
A number of influential senators were said to have been reached immediately the query went to Sanusi, while some influential northern leaders also started lobbying the presidency to shelve the planned removal.
“A number of issues were raised about issue of CBN autonomy, but I can tell you that a date was actually set for Sanusi’s ouster last week. The lobbying appeared to have worked,” a source said.
It was learnt that the heat on the CBN governor had made him change his earlier promise to leave before the expiration of his tenure and that he had recently told his close associates he would, at least, stay on till June next year.