The immediate past Minister/Deputy Chairman, National Planning Commission (NPC), Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman has faulted President Buhari’s claim that the immediate past government left behind an empty treasury.
Pres. Buhari had in a media parley with state House correspondents on Monday June 22nd claimed that his administration met ‘virtually an empty treasury’. In a statement released yesterday June 23rd, Dr Suleiman said the Good luck administration left behind $30 billion in the national treasury.
He argued that saying the past government did not leave behind any money implies that revenue generating agencies of the government seized to work before and after the Goodluck administration ended on May 29th .
“Government can’t tell us that there is no Excess Crude Account (ECA), Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) or are we saying the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIR) and related agencies had not in the last one month been generating revenue? Until they are able to prove they had no receipts from these government agencies in the last one month before Nigerians can now buy into Mr. President’s claims of an empty treasury. Money made by government is meant to be spent, and this the immediate past administration did responsibly. Every government operates on deficit even in the so-called western world, including the US which today remains one of the largest debtor nations in the world. Is it not on record that President Obama inherited $3 trillion debt, a collapsed banking sector and mortgage industry, yet he never raised any alarm.
None of these has happened in Nigeria under Jonathan. Under Jonathan, Nigeria became the largest Africa economy and 26th in the world amidst deadly security challenges and dwindling international prices of oil. In spite of all these, the Federal Government never owed salary. Upon inception of Jonathan’s administration, it is on record that the price of oil at the global stage was over $100 per barrel and at the close of the administration, it dropped to $46. Yet, there wasn’t collapse of government and federal civil servants were paid as at when due. It will be misleading, therefore, for our respected President Muhammadu Buhari and indeed the ruling APC to claim to have met an empty treasury. Aspiration to governance is a call to meeting and confronting challenges headlong. So, we urge the APC-led government to hit the ground running as promised Nigerians by confronting the challenges. We are not in doubt of the capability of Mr. President to do it. He should, therefore, get to business, put in place structures and personnel to redeem the pledges made to Nigerians”.