Jul 24, 2016

Buhari Makes Shocking Revelation About Nigeria’s Treasury

Though Nigerians are already aware of the dwindling finances that accompanied the drastic fall in crude oil price, the situation might be worse than they think as President Muhammadu Buhari, revealed how dire the financial predicament of the nation is.

President Buhari says Nigeria’s treasury is empty, I inherited empty treasury, huge debts- Buhari, Bail-out for states doubtful as Buhari laments empty treasury as well as Buhari can’t continue in office makes the front pages of the national dailies for Tuesday, June 23, 2015.

VANGUARD reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on his first day at the Aso Rock Villa, after his swearing in on May 29, said he inherited a “virtually empty treasury”, from his predecessor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan with debts running into hundreds of millions of dollars. Mr. President, who disclosed this on Monday, June 22, during a meeting with members of the state house press corps, blamed the situation on bad management, adding that it was a disgrace that Nigeria is unable to pay workers’ salaries.

Buhari admitted that there is already a lot of pressure on his government due to the huge expectations of Nigerians. The president, yesterday held a meeting with the three service chiefs, who were led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Alhaji Ismail Aliyu, who addressed state house correspondents after the meeting, said Buhari ordered the withdrawal of the military from internal security operations as part of a comprehensive review of national security operations. He said the directive was given because Nigeria and four other countries in the Lake Chad sub-region had for the first time developed a united military strategy against the regional menace, Boko Haram. He said after the president ordered the withdrawal of military checkpoints, he directed the police to henceforth take firm control of internal security.

The permanent secretary said Buhari told the security chiefs to liaise with the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force to finalise arrangements for Police to effectively take over internal security. He revealed that the meeting with the security chiefs was to give them the opportunity to brief the president on the implementations of recent decisions reached on the fight against insurgency.

Still on the issue of empty treasury, THE PUNCH reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, June 22, during a meeting with state house correspondent to mark his first day in the Aso Rock office, said he inherited an empty treasury, adding that his government was being weighed down by debts running into millions of dollars. Though the president declined to disclose the amount of debt he met, he vowed to put in his best to salvage the country from the brink of collapse.

Buhari, who said it was disgraceful for state and federal workers not to be paid their salaries as at when due, told the correspondents that he would need their help to avoid a situation where Nigerians might march on him. He said the tradition of assessing government’s performance in the first 100 days in office was putting pressure on him due to the mismanaged economy he met.

The President revealed that it was not by accident that he appointed one of the best journalists in the country, Femi Adesina, as his special adviser on media and publicity. He explained that he appointed Adesina so that he could consistently defend him against his co-journalists. He, however, expressed optimism that what happened under former president Goodluck Jonathan, when a state house correspondent was expelled would not happen under his administration. Buhari was accompanied to the meeting by Adesina and his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Buhari, immediately after resuming work, had earlier met with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and some of his key aides, before meeting behind closed doors with the service chiefs.

Now that the president has made it public that the country is broke, the next question that then comes to mind is, what will be the fate of the states owing civil servants no fewer than six to nine months salaries? THE GUARDIAN reports that after President Muhammadu Buhari announced that he met an empty treasury, the anticipated bailout for states by the federal government may have temporarily hit the rocks.

The President, who said it was the duty of government at every level to ensure that workers’ salaries are paid, lamented that the bad management of the economy had put a strain on the ability of state governments and some federal government agencies to pay their workers. He underscored a smooth working relationship between the government and the media as essential, noting that, such relationship would go a long way in ensuring that Nigerians enjoy a quality dividend of democracy.

Source: naij

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