It wasn’t a rumour or fake news after all – Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria’s minister of finance, has thrown in the towel.
President Muhammadu Buhari has also accepted her resignation.
Both events happened on Friday.
Consequently, the president has asked minister of state (budget and national planning) Mrs Zainab Ahmed to act as finance minister until further notice.
Premium Times had published a story, two months ago, convicting Mrs Adeosun of NYSC certificate forgery. Adeosun, 51, said nothing until this Friday when she confirmed that, indeed, her NYSC exemption certificate was fake.
Nigerians are not known to resign their appointment even after they have been caught with their hands on the cookie jar or with oil-stained hands. True to type, Adeosun had ignored the reports on her forgery crime and continued doing her job. Even ranking government officials kept supporting her until, perhaps, she was asked to resign, obviously because the ruling APC is preparing for the 2019 election campaigns, and the forgery case is likely to constitute an ugly slur.
Some suspect that Adeosun’s resignation was meant to divert media attention from, first, IPOB-directed sit-at-home protests that were a huge success in the south-east, and, second, the announcement of Yusuf Magaji Bichi as the new boss of the Department of State Services, DSS, on Thursday. Bitchi’s appointment meant the ousting of Mathew Sieyefa who had been acting DG since last month when Lawal Daura was sacked for staging a “coup” [invasion] against the National Assembly. The social media has been buzzing since then, with many identifying Buhari as a nepotist or tribalist. All but two of the nation’s security agencies are headed by northern Muslims, to the exclusion of southern Nigeria and Christians.
Below is Adeosun’s resignation letter made available by The Presidency Friday night:
14th September, 2018
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
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 Department 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 represents 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.
Kemi Adeosun (Mrs)