‘Empty treasure’: Amaechi’s comment not supported by facts, says Osita Chidoka
Osita Chidoka, former aviation minister, said claims that former President Goodluck Jonathan left “a treasure trove almost empty” were not supported by the facts.
Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transport, had claims that the funds left by Jonathan were not sufficient to hold the new government for three weeks.
Reno Omokri, a former presidential adviser, had rejected the request, claiming that the Jonathan government left $ 28.6 billion in the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
In a statement released Tuesday, Chidoka said Amaechi’s comment was rather unfortunate and was not supported by facts readily available in the public domain.
“As a member of the Federal Executive Council who has passed the baton to the current administration, I am disturbed that this urban myth of the ’empty treasure’ is still the topic of conversation of a senior government official,” he said. -he declares.
“Moreover, I do not quite understand what the honorable minister means when he says: ‘When we arrived’, because he was not appointed minister until six months after the handover on May 29th. . Since he was not a Minister on the date of the surrender, it may be appropriate to resubmit the facts to him.
âOn May 29, 2015, President Buhari inherited a foreign reserve of 28.6 billion dollars, according to official data still available on the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as well as 5.6 billion dividends of Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Limited. In addition, a 2015 budget of over 4 trillion naira was handed over to the incoming administration by the outgoing Jonathan government.
Of the foreign exchange reserves, only a fraction is made up of savings. The naira equivalent of oil revenues is regularly mistrusted during the monthly meeting of the Federation’s Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) while foreign currency is kept in reserve to meet foreign obligations.
The former minister also added that the Jonathan administration left a total of $ 2.2 billion in the crude surplus account on May 29, 2015.
“To create more context, I want the Minister of Transport to note the economic indices of the country after 1849 days of President Jonathan’s presidency from May 06, 2010, when he succeeded President Umaru Yar’Adua on the date discount from May 29, 2015, “he added.
âOn May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari inherited an economy which, according to the testimony of the World Investment Report, prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), based in Geneva, was the first destination of foreign direct investment. in Africa. During President Jonathan’s five years, foreign direct investment amounted to around $ 35.25 billion. You can compare that to the $ 11.55 billion in foreign direct investment received from 2016 to 2020.
âThe Jonathan administration handed over a $ 550 billion economy (the largest in Africa and 26th in the world) and a diverse economy. On May 29, 2015, President Jonathan left behind an economy with a stable currency, where the naira traded for 199 yen for $ 1, and Nigeria had single-digit inflation. Today, after 2,406 days of the current administration, the headline inflation rate sits above 15 percent.
âOur external debt in May 2015 stood at $ 7.3 billion, the Gini coefficient (degree of inequality) was no different from that of China in 2015. In 343 weeks and four days under the Current administration, our external debt has swelled to $ 37.9 billion as of September 2021. It is important to point out that more than 48% are bilateral and commercial loans.
âWith the above facts, I am sure the Minister of Transport will rethink his fixation on the past and focus on the clear and present danger of an economy on Argentina’s path – sovereign debt default. “