Obasanjo says Jonathan has blown Nigeria's $67b Reserve he left Behind

Obasanjo says Jonathan has blown Nigeria's $67b Reserve he left Behind

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said the country is currently facing economic problems due to the failure of the Goodluck Jonathan administration to plan for a rainy day. He told Iyalodes and eminent women leaders   from the South-West, who visited him at his   Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State, that the nation’s reserves which as of 2007 stood at $67bn had been depleted by the Goodluck
Jonathan Government. 
The former President was responding to a call by the delegation led by the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Chief Alaba Lawson, and the Iyaloja General of Nigeria, Chief Folashade Tinubu-Ojo,   to   lend his voice to the socio-economic crisis rocking the country. Stressing that the country did not deserve the situation it currently finds itself, Obasanjo vowed that he would not keep quiet until the right things were done. He said, “When I was leaving office about eight years ago, I left a very huge reserve after we had paid all our debts. “Almost $25bn we kept in what they called Excess Crude Account, it was the excess from the budget we were saving as reserve for a rainy day.

 “When we left in May 2007, the reserve was said to have risen to $35bn. But today, that reserve has been depleted. “After paying our debts which was about $40bn,   including debt forgiveness, the   remaining (debt) was not more than $3bn. “Our reserves after we had paid off these debts amounted to about $45bn. As I said, they continued to rise till the end of 2007. I heard that the reserves increased to almost $67bn before the end of the year. “Our reserves now, I learnt, stand at only $30bn.” Although he noted that the slump in oil price would naturally have a negative impact on a monolithic economy like Nigeria, Obasanjo said that “ anyone who is wise enough should know that since we depend on just one mineral resource and since we have no control over its pricing, we should be planning for this type of situation we currently find ourselves   and the way out of it.” 

The former President lamented that “our inability to have healthy reserves had brought us to “this economic quagmire.” He added, “A leader must be forward-looking and plan ahead. At the beginning of last year, the budget was based on $78 per barrel. That year, the Federal Government spent more on recurrent expenditure and a little on capital expenditure.” Obasanjo   also pointed out that the devaluation of the naira had unleashed other consequences on the economy. He rated the Jonathan administration as colossal failure, grounded by ineptitude. 

Obasanjo denied being against President Jonathan.
“I have no grudges against Jonathan and I think Jonathan equally has no grudges against me. I’m not quarrelling with Jonathan but all I know is that whatever is good for Nigeria, that I’m ready to die for,” he said.
“I emphasize that whatever is good for Nigeria, is what I’m ready to defend with my life. Whoever, I emphasize, whoever says he would not do anything good to Nigeria, even if he says he’s ready to go ‘konko below’, I’m ready to square it up with such a person. I say again, whoever that person may be, I want you to get that correctly. If this country is going to change for the better, it would start from the top and if it’s going to be otherwise, it would start from the top, too,” the former president stressed.
On the forthcoming election, Mr. Obasanjo said he’s not apprehensive as being speculated, just as he advised the electorates to vote for candidates with integrity and good records.
“I have no apprehension over this coming elections. I have no fears over the forthcoming elections. I have had some little experience about this country. I was a military head of state and I was also a civilian president, so what is left?’
“So, if I talk, I know what I’m saying. Whoever wants, should listen to me and whoever feels otherwise, may turn a deaf ear. But when I’m talking, I’m talking with my understanding and intellect. I’m drawing from my experience and from what I’ve learnt with others and from other countries and fellow eminent citizens of the world that I relate with. But leave all of that.
“Good governance comes from voting, from selection of leaders. It is now left to you to decide who you cast your vote for because if you throw away your votes and tomorrow you are saying good governance, once you throw away your votes you have lost out. That is one. Find out the track records of achievements of those you want to vote for. What have they achieved in the past and not what they have said’.
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