On Tuesday, BN brought you the news that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the sum of N804.7 billion to assist states who have been unable to pay salaries.
And now, Vanguard is reporting that the presidency and the national leadership of PDP are sharply divided over the sources of the N804.7 billion.
The report states:
“This development is in clear contradiction to the earlier impression given by President Buhari to Nigerians and the international community that they should not expect much from his administration in its first 100 days because according him, on assumption of office, he met a virtually empty treasury.
We want to believe that given the President’s release of such huge amount, he may have realized that he was earlier misdirected on the actual financial state of the nation at the time he took over. In this regard, we expect the President, as a respected statesman to do the needful to correct that erroneous impression.
Furthermore, we expect President Buhari’s APC administration as direct beneficiary of this savings initiated by past PDP administrations to appreciate the strategic importance of always saving for rainy days and as such guarantee prudent and transparent management of the nation’s resources now under its care.”
“Let me say that no money was taken from the Excess Crude Account. I was present two weeks ago when the governors met with the President, one of them (governors) called his attention to the fact that he had heard that Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, had paid in some dividends to Nigeria.
Let me also add that in the course of their courtesy visit last week, the board of NLNG announced to the president that they had made the payment. So in a similar way, the President was just informed about this money last week.”
“Reports in sections of the media today that funds will be drawn from the Excess Crude Account for the relief package approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for states and local governments, are incorrect. For the purpose of greater clarity on the matter, the measures approved by President Buhari to deal with the problem of unpaid public sector salaries in many states are as follows:
*The sharing of the $2.1 billion dividend paid to the Federation Account by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG);
*A Central Bank-packaged special intervention fund that will offer financing to the states, ranging from N250 billion to N300 billion. This will be a soft loan available to states for the purposes of paying backlog of salaries; and
*A debt relief programme designed by the Debt Management Office which will help states restructure their commercial loans currently put at over N660 Billion, and extend the life span of such loans while reducing their debt-servicing expenditures.
The measures approved by President Buhari definitely do not include drawing down the remaining balance in the Excess Crude Account or the “liquidation” of the account as some media outlets have wrongly reported. No such decision has been taken or approved by President Buhari, and last week’s meeting of the National Economic Council clearly concluded that the Excess Crude Account should be left untouched at this time.”