The immediate past Minister/Deputy Chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, on Tuesay, June 23, 2015 dismissed claims by President Muhammadu Buhari that former President Goodluck jonatha left an empty treasury, saying the former president left at least $30 billion as at Friday, May 29, 2015, adding that the amount could have been higher if the governors had not insisted on sharing the funds.
Describing President Buhari’s spurious claims as “unscientific and unfair,” Sulaiman said: “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.
“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.”
He went o to remind President Buhari that the “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.”