Barely hours after President Buhari cried out that he inherited virtually an empty treasury from former President Jonathan, the latter has fired back saying he handed over $30 billion to Buhari.
Immediate past Minister/Deputy Chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Dr. Abubakar Olanrewaju Sulaiman who spoke for the Jonathan administration said the $30b left in the treasury was in addition to the $2 billion left in the Excess Crude Account as at May 29.
Sulaiman, in a statement he personally signed in Abuja, today warned that Jonathan must not be criminalized under the guise of playing politics, even as he described Buhari’s claim as “unscientific and unfair.”
According to him “The immediate past administration left behind close to US$30billion in its Foreign Reserve. So, how does the question of an empty treasury arrive? In the Excess Crude Account, we left behind US$2billion as at May 29. And the sum 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 Obama inherited US$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 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.” He said it was a “disgrace that Nigeria cannot pay salaries of its workforce.”