Immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has debunked the statement made by President Muhammadu Buhari that he inherited an empty treasury, insisting that he left nothing less than $30 billion.
Dr. Jonathan who has not made any major public statement since leaving office on May 29 this year spoke through the immediate past Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Olanrewaju Sulaiman.
According to Dr. Sulaiman who issued a statement in Abuja, the Federal Capital, the $30b that the Jonathan administration left in the treasury is in addition to the $2 billion left in the Excess Crude Account as at May 29.
Sulaiman, in the statement Wednesday, warned against politicizing everything that has to do with Dr. Jonathan and his administration, pointing out that “the immediate past administration left behind close to US$30billion in its Foreign Reserve. So, how does the question of an empty treasury arise? In the Excess Crude Account, we left behind US$2billion as at May 29. “
The former Minister said that the governors should be held responsible for the amount left not being more than $30 billion stressing that those saying that Jonathan left an empty treasury were being uncharitable or economical with the truth..
According to him, “the sum ($30 billion) would have been higher if not for the governors’ insistence on sharing it. The 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, even in the so-called western world, including the US which today remains one of the largest debtor nations in the world, government operates on deficit. Is it not on record that President Barak Obama inherited US$3 trillion debt, a collapsed banking sector and mortgage industry, yet he never raised any alarm.”
Sulaiman said that “none of these has happened in Nigeria under Jonathan.” Rather, he said, “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 salaries. 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.”