Chairman of the New Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has unequivocally condemned the rape of the country’s economy by the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Administration.
Baraje led-New PDP stated this in a news release signed and issued in Abuja most recently by Mr Eze Chukwuemeka Eze.
The statement said, “Despite claims to the contrary by the Administration in a futile bid to deceive Nigerians, the overwhelming evidence is that the Nigerian economy has been run aground by the present Administration and is now comatose. With the massive scale of officially-induced oil theft, the dwindling returns from oil and massive looting going on at the federal level, Nigeria is surely on the brink of economic collapse”.
The factional party buttressed its position base on the Federal Government’s inability to pay states their share of the Federal Allocation since July adding that the last time states were partly paid was in July.
“The arrears continue to mount by the day. As at today, the states are being owed N336 billion with the N75 billion being the balance of the July 2013 arrears, N121 billion from June augmentation and over N90 billion as July augmentation”.
The implication of this development according to party was that “the 36 states have become impoverished and unable to meet up with basic obligations, including the payment of workers’ monthly salaries, which many of the states have been unable to do due to lack of funds. Most states have also as a result been unable to meet their obligation to contractors. This dangerous scenario is complemented by the growing rate of unemployment, which presently hovers around 80 per cent”.
The rest of statement reads thus:
“Let us ponder this: If states cannot pay their contractors – not to talk of entering into new contracts – if states cannot pay their workers because there is no money to pay them, what could result is a huge social catastrophe that will add to the social, economic and political inferno already ravaging Nigeria today.
“All these portend very grave danger for our dear country as youth and labour restiveness appears imminent. Nigerians should expect further worsening of the unemployment situation and the loss of jobs, which is inevitable should the Federal Government continue with the present shoddy management of the economy which leaves much room for abuse.
“Ironically, while the masses suffer, Government officials continue to feed fat, using various guises to fritter away our common patrimony. They continue to enjoy a life of opulence, which has blinded them to the realities of the monumental suffering to which the masses are being subjected on a daily basis.
“The question to ask is: Where has all the money gone? For an instance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had revealed that the country earned a total of N1.05 trillion in July, but surprisingly, the minister had not been able to pay states their due statutory allocations. Where are the billions of dollars accruable from daily crude oil sales? Where are the billions of naira accruable from multiple taxation which is strangulating struggling businesses on a daily basis? And where are the billions of dollars which the Jonathan Administration claims to be saving from one so-called cost-saving measure or the other? Nigerians can no longer be deceived! The truth is that Nigeria is broke and it does that worse days are ahead under this inept and visionless Administration.
“PDP under the leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje strongly condemns this unfortunate situation which indicates that the managers of the nation’s economy may be at their wits end. It is unacceptable for Nigerians to be subjected to this grand level of suffering even when their country is one of the world’s leading oil producers.
“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) under the able leadership of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi that includes the progressive G7 Governors of the authentic PDP recently raised the alarm, calling on the Finance Minister to resign in view of her shoddy running of the economy. As usual, the Minister, who is also the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, denied that the economy is running on troubled waters, but events have since proved her wrong. Since nobody has a monopoly of wisdom, we wish to advise President Jonathan to humbly consider the NGF Report on the nation’s economy and see what he can borrow from it to take the country’s economy out of the woods.
“Mr. President must act fast to rescue the situation as there is a limit to which Nigerians can be pushed. Anything short of this is an invitation to anarchy. A word is enough for the wise!
“In conclusion, not minding the abysmal failure of the defunct Tukur’s PDP to advise the Executive on how to run a PDP government based on the principles and vision of the founding fathers of the party; we sincerely thank Nigerians for their patience even in the face of poverty while in the midst of plenty bestowed on us by God as we have decided to keep this administration on its toes to ensure that dividends of democracy are rendered to Nigerians considering the massive votes that PDP received from them during the 2011 general elections”.