Bailout: Presidency Berates Metuh, PDP Agents Over Attempt To “Mislead the Public”Featured Contributors/Columnists, Latest News, News Thursday, July 9th, 2015
By Niyi Adeyi – The Presidency has fired back at the opposition PDP and its agents over attempt to create unnecessary controversy over the effort by President Muhammadu Buhari to give some relief to state governments and long-suffering public sector workers via bailout.
Special Assistant to Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adeshina in a statement said the Presidency rejected the banal and ludicrous demand by the PDP Spokesman, Olisa Metuh that the PDP Government which was ousted by Nigerians at the last general elections for running the country aground, be given some credit for “saving” the funds that were disbursed as part of the intervention package approved by President Buhari.
“Mr. Metuh’s claim that a significant amount of the funds came from savings accumulated in the Excess Crude Account and handed over to the Buhari Administration is completely false and deliberately intended to mislead the public.
“As we clearly stated yesterday (Tuesday), the funds approved by President Buhari for sharing to the three tiers of government on Monday came entirely from dividends and taxes paid to the Federation Account by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG), not from the Excess Crude Account,” Mr Adeshina clarified.
The disbursed NLNG dividends and taxes, the statement indicated were paid into the Federation Account in June this year and confirmed by the Central Bank’s Statement to the Federal Government on July 7, 2015, adding that the funds could not therefore be considered “savings” by the Jonathan’s Administration which left office in May, 2015, as disingenuously claimed by Metuh.
Adeshina declared: “Instead of being repeatedly impugned and castigated by the PDP and its agents for honestly telling Nigerians that the nation’s treasury has been immensely depleted and its resources looted or squandered under previous administrations, President Buhari should be commended for the openness, transparency and accountability which he has now brought to the management of national funds”.
He also held that it was in keeping with similar disposition, that the President promptly disclosed the accrual of the NLNG dividends and taxes to the Federation Account at his recent meeting with State Governors and approved the convening of a special session of the FAAC to share it.
“As a state governor who was present at the meeting remarked, under past administrations, the states never had the benefit of such disclosures” Adeshina challenged.
The Presidency also put to task Metuh and others who now ungratefully see Monday’s disbursement of the NLNG proceeds as their “legitimate” earnings and not a “bailout” from the Federal Government might wish to tell Nigerians if such earnings were ever disclosed by the PDP Federal Government and paid to the states in the past.
Adeshina cautioned that Buhari-led Administration has never referred to the actions which it has taken to ease the current financial difficulties of states as a “bailout”.
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