Presidency faults PDP on N713.7bn bailout for states

The Presidency on Wednesday took on the Peoples
Democratic Party and those it called the party’s
agents over their position on the relief released to
state governments by President Muhammadu
Buhari.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and
Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, accused the PDP of
creating unnecessary controversy over “the well-
intentioned effort” of the President.
He described as “banal and ludicrous” the claim by
the party’s spokesman, Olisa Metuh, that the past
government should be given credit for saving the
money that was disbursed.
The statement read in part, “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 (on 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, not from the Excess Crude
Account.
“The disbursed NLNG dividends and taxes 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.
“The funds cannot, therefore, be considered
‘savings’ by the Jonathan administration which left
office in May, 2015, as disingenuously claimed by
Mr. Metuh.
“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.
“It was in keeping with that 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 the past administrations,
the states never had the benefit of such
disclosures.
“Mr. 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, may wish to tell Nigerians
if such earnings were ever disclosed by the PDP
Federal Government and paid to the states in the
past.
“The public may also wish to note that the Buhari
administration itself has never referred to the
actions which it was taken to ease the current
financial difficulties of states as a “bailout.”

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