PLS NOTE: REVISED VERSION OF THIS POST IS AVAILABLE AT http://newsbytesnow.com/2013/01/30/flash-depleted-67bn-reserve-under-obj-it-was-save-save-save-but-spend-spend-spend-under-yar-adua-jonathan-fani-kayodes-full-statement/
As the Federal Government intensifies its attack on former Education Minister, Obiageli Ezekwesili, over her allegation of financial recklessness and a challenge to a public debate to prove its probity, many who served under president Obasanjo has lent their voices to the call for accountability on the part of the Nigerian government.
The call by Ezekwesili for a public engagement to clear doubts came in response to the Information Minister, Labaran Maku’s denial of the claim that the $67 billion left in the reserve by the Obasanjo-led administration was grossly depleted by the governments of Presidents Yar Adua and Jonathan.
Mallam Nasir Elrufai, the minister for the FCT and Femi Fani-Kayode, the Minister for Aviation both who also served when Obiageli Ezekwesili headed the Education Ministry under Obasanjo strongly disagree with the Federal government stance and its decline to a public debate on the matter.
News Bytes captured Femi Fani-Kayode’s views Wednesday. Enjoy:
“I humbly disagree. They (FG) ought to have accepted the challenge of a debate. Let Nigerians listen to that and make up their minds. I thought that Doyin Okupe’s response to Obiageli Ezekwesili was more powerful and made more sense than Labaran Maku’s but I still believe that Obiageli Ezekwesili was right.”
“The charge that our foreign reserves were heavily depleted between 2007 and 2013 cannot be denied. In 2007, former President Obasanjo left 58 billion USD. By the Federal Governments own admission today, we have only 45 billion USD left in foreign reserves after it plummeted to 30 billion under Late President Umar Musa Yar Adua. It is not something that we should be proud of that 4 years after hitting 58 billion in our foreign reserves we only have 45 billion left.”
“Apart from that, the Excess Crude Account, which had 23 billion USD left in it when we left power in 2007, was initially run down to zero by President Umar Musa Yar Adua but has now been built up to approximately 10 billion USD. Again this represents a far lower figure than we had in that account in 2007.”
“Whichever way one looks at it, this represents a failure in fiscal discipline because the Fed Governmentt was meant to build up on the legacy they inherited in 2007 and not spend the money. We ought to be hitting at least 100 billion USD in our foreign reserves by now and 50 billion in the Excess Crude Account if the government wishes to lay any claim to success in this matter. Instead all we have seen is a depletion and a drain since 2007.”
“Finally President Obasanjo left us with no foreign debt in 2007. Sadly 4 years later we are back in chronic debt to the tune of 9 billion USD and we are still borrowing. In view of the foregoing it is perfectly legitimate for anyone to ask how come so much money was spent, what it was spent on and how the government has managed our resources over the last 4 years.”
“67 billion USD was left in our foreign reserves and ECA in 2007, this is a fact which Labaran Maku sought to deny but which Okupe appears to have at least admitted. The question for them both and for President Jonathan now is how do they explain the fact that we have far less today in both accounts than we did four years ago and what do we have to show for such massive expenditure and depletion of our finances over the last four years?”
“I really do wish that the Governmentt had taken up the challenge of a debate that Obiageli Ezekwesili put to them because if they had done so, they would have had the opportunity to answer that question.”
“When President obasanjo came to power in 1999, we had only 1.5 billion USD in our foreign reserves and there was no such thing as the Excess Crude Account. We also had a foreign debt of 30 billion USD. By the time he left in 2007, we had built those foreign reserves from 1.5 billion USD to 45 billion.”
“Furthermore we had built the Excess Crude Account from zero to 23 billion USD and finally we had wiped out the foreign debt of 30 billion to zero.”
“That was all done by OBJ and that is what you call fiscal discilpline, development and economic recovery.”
“Since 2007 we have seen nothing but depletion of those resources and more and more borrowing.”
“Unlike President Obasanjo, President Yar Adua and later president Jonathan governments did not build up our reserves or save any money. Instead they both spent recklessly and borrowed more and more. If the way they have been borrowing continues at this rate for another two years Nigeria will be back to having a foreign debt of 30 billion USD. That was where we were in 1999. That would be a very sad.”
Leave your comment here
You are ahead…@newsbytesnow