President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday held an interactive session with Nigerians living in Netherlands, where a number of pressing Nigerian problems was discussed.
Nigerian president went to Netherlands to take part in the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague.
Jonathan said that Nigeria does not have the security resources to deal with the increasing security challenges such as piracy, kidnapping, and Boko Haram insurgency, but promised his administration would deal with these problems.
The participants of the session sought for an explanation for the suspension of the Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and the missing $20bn that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has allegedly failed to remit to the Federation Account.
Replying to the question about Sanusi's sack, Jonathan said:
"You have the governor of the Central Bank, it is a serious position. ... It is one of the most serious positions in the country. It is an office that you cannot talk carelessly. It is an office that if you say something it will affect the economy of the country. It is a highly respected office, not for Tom Dick and Harry. It is not the question of getting ten Phds in Economics. But your character, anything you say, the world takes it as the gospel truth."To the president’s explanation, the audience roared 'sack him'.
"CBN governor woke up one day and said that the country lost $49.8bn. And as at that time the annual budget of 2011, 2012 put together is just about that. So that somebody stole money equivalent to your annual budget for two years even if the whole country is made up of thieves. ... Few days later he said it was $12billion. Not $49.8billion but $12billion. After sometime he said no it was $20billion."
"If you were me, the head of your reserve bank give you three conflicting figures about this, what would you do?"
Jonathan admitted, however, that there is a $10bn fund that has not been reconciled by the NNPC and the Ministry of Finance, which led to his ordering of a forensic audit of the corporation.
To recall, Sanusi was suspended by the President Jonathan on February 19 over allegations of misconduct. But the former CBN governor has rejected the claims against him, insisting he was removed for revealing corruption in Nigeria.