Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government of under-reporting its oil revenue between June 2015 and 2018.
In a response to his statement reacting to a previous one by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the need to restructure Nigeria, Atiku, a Presidential aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections argued that “it is not exactly correct when he (Osinbajo) says “In four years from 2010 to 2014 the PDP government earned the highest oil revenues in Nigeria’s history, USD381.9bn. By contrast the Buhari Administration has earned USD121 billion from May 2015 to June 2018”, let us for the sake of argument say that he is right.”
Addressing a townhall meeting in Bariga/Somolu Local Community Development Area (LCDA), to felicitate with Lagosians as part of the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, Osinbajo said the Federal Government, under President Muhammadu Buhari is doing much more to take more Nigerians out of the cycle of poverty, despite a significant drop in oil revenue over the past three years. The $94bn, representing 23.91%, he inferred is nothing compared to the $393bn earned by the preceding administration from oil within the same period (READ MORE).
Still on the economy, Atiku said the claim that Nigeria has fared better is not supported “the fact that the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics reported in December 2017 that Nigeria lost 7.9m jobs in the 21-month period under review.
He quoted the Vice President as saying: “Good governance involves, inter alia, transparency and prudence in public finance. It involves social justice, investing in the poor, and jobs for young people; which explains our School Feeding Programme, providing a meal a day to over 9 million public school children in 25 States as of today. Our NPower is now employing 500,000 graduates; our TraderMoni that will be giving microcredit to 2 million petty traders; our Conditional Cash Transfers giving monthly grants to over 400,000 of the poorest in Nigeria. The plan is to cover a million households.”
He however argued: “If the Vice President cannot see that losing 7.9 million jobs in 21 months while creating 500,000 jobs is a deficit, then I do not know what to say to the honourable professor.
“Professor Osinbajo also harps on about “prudence in public finance”, but he fails to show the wisdom in sharing out $322 million of Abacha funds to the poor only to take a loan of $328 million from the Chinese the very next month. Many Nigerians, myself included, see this as imprudence,” Atiku added.
Osinbajo, he continued, failed to mention that under a PDP government, under which he Atiku was Veepee, in 2006 paid off Nigeria’s entire foreign debt of $30bn, “at a time when we were earning one third of what the Buhari administration is currently earning from oil. Osinbajo’s arguments, he said, “are puerile at best.”
He therefore advised the Vice President to “choose whether he is for restructuring or whether he is against it and stick to his choice.
“This continuous prevarication, this approbation and reprobation, helps no one, least of all true progressives who know that Nigeria needs to be restructured and restructured soon.”