President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday accepted the resignation of the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun. Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement last night said “the President thanked the Minister for her services to the nation and wished her well in her future pursuits”.
According to the statement, “the President also approved that the Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed should oversee the Ministry of Finance with effect from today (yesterday).
The minister had been enmeshed in controversy for allegedly presenting a forged National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, exemption certificate, during her confirmation by the National Assembly as a member of the Federal Executive Council. The allegation prompted series of calls on her to honourably resign her position.
In her resignation letter dated September 14 2018 addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, she said that the finding of an investigation on her NYSC Exemption Certificate which was discovered not to be genuine came to her as a shock and the honourable thing for left for her was to resign.
The Minister’s resignation letter read in full:
“Dear Excellency, let me commence by thanking you profusely for the honour and privilege of serving under your inspirational leadership. It has been a truly rewarding experience to learn from you and to observe at close quarters your integrity and sense of duty.
I have, today, become privy to the findings of the investigation into the allegation made in an online medium that the Certificate of Exemption from National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) that I had presented was not genuine. This has come as a shock to me and I believe that in line with this administration’s focus on integrity, I must do the honourable thing and resign.
“Your Excellency, kindly permit me to outline some of the background to this matter. I was born and raised in the United Kingdom, indeed my parental family home remains in London. My visits to Nigeria up until the age of thirty-four (34) were holidays, with visas obtained in my UK passport. I obtained my first Nigerian passport at the age of thirty-four (34) and when I relocated there was debate as to whether NYSC Law applied to me. Upon enquiry as to my status relating to NYSC, I was informed that due to my residency history and having exceeded the age of thirty (30), I was exempted from the requirement to serve. Until recent events, that remained my understanding.
“On the basis of that advice and with the guidance and assistance of those, I thought were trusted associates, NYSC were approached for documentary proof of status. I then received the certificate in question. Having never worked in NYSC, visited the premises, been privy to nor familiar with their operations, I had no reason to suspect that the certificate was anything but genuine. Indeed,I presented that certificate at the 2011 Ogun State House of Assembly and in 2015 for Directorate of State Services (DSS) Clearance as well as to the National Assembly for screening. Be that as it may, as someone totally committed to a culture of probity and accountability I have decided to resign with effect from Friday, 14th September, 2018.
“Your Excellency, it has been an exceptional privilege to have served our nation under your leadership and to have played a role in steering our economy at a very challenging time. I am proud that Nigeria has brought discipline into its finances, has identified and is pursuing a path to long term sustainable growth that will unlock the potential in this great economy. Under your leadership, Nigeria was able to exit recession and has now started to lay the foundations for lasting growth and wealth creation. Repositioning this huge economy is not a short term task and there are no short cuts, indeed there are tough decisions still to be made but I have no doubt that your focus on infrastructural investment, revenue mobilisation and value for money in public expenditure will deliver growth, wealth and opportunity for all Nigerians.
“I thank His Excellency, the Vice President and my colleagues in the Federal Executive Council for the huge pleasure and honour of working with them. I also thank most specially, the team in the ‘Finance Family’ of advisers and heads of agencies under the Ministry of Finance. Your Excellency, this group of committed Nigerians represent a range of backgrounds, ethnicities and ages. They have worked well above and beyond the call of duty to support me in the tasks assigned. The diversity in my team and their ability to work cohesively to deliver reforms, convinces me that Nigeria has the human capital required to succeed.
“Your Excellency, let me conclude by commending your patience and support, during the long search for the truth in this matter. I thank you again for giving me the honour of serving under your leadership, it is a rare privilege, which I do not take for granted. As a Nigerian and committed progressive, I appreciate you for your dogged commitment to improving this nation.
“Please be assured, as always, of my highest regards and best wishes”
Meanwhile, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, which had earlier called on the Minister to resign her appointment also demanded the resignation of President Buhari’s Special Assistant on Prosecutions, Mr Obonlo-Obla saying that his position was even less acceptable given the fact that it pertained to the forgery of a school certificate result.
The executive chairman of the centre, Comrade Debo Adeniran in a statement said Obla should also resign.
According to him, “ We could as well say that Adeosun has completed her course, only that she didn’t do the mandatoryone year service, but for Obno-Obola, that is even worse, that means that he doesn’t have he does’t have the technical capability to carry out the duties he is carrying on. So, he should be made to resign,” he said