Jonathan’s govt left N65 billion fertiliser debt — Presidency

FILE PHOTO: Former President, Goodluck Jonathan
FILE PHOTO: Former President, Goodluck Jonathan

The Federal Government has decried the inability of the previous administration to settle outstanding N65 billion debt owed to fertiliser suppliers.

This is contained in a statement issued on Monday by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President.

Mr. Shehu said it was wrong for the Goodluck Jonathan administration to purchase fertilisers worth N65 billion since 2014 and left the bill unpaid.

He said that the Federal Government had to pay off the debt so that the suppliers could begin to supply fertilisers again.

The E-wallet fertiliser policy of the Jonathan administration was widely hailed as a success as it allowed millions of farmers to have access to fertiliser.

But the Buhari government suspended the programme saying it was unsustainable given the scale of uncleared debt.

The government however reversed the decision last week, and agreed to revive the policy amid an economic tumult.

The statement by Mr. Shehu attributed the current food crisis in the country to some of the unpopular policies of the past administrations.

According to him, the current pain is due to the mismanagement of the past and that what Nigeria is currently experiencing was inevitable.

He said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was being honest with the people instead of piling up debts and concealing the truth by pretending all was rosy.

“This government believes that Nigerians deserve to know the truth. People stole unbelievable amounts of money. The kind of money some of these ex-officials hold is itself a threat to the security of the state.

“Since it is not money earned, they feel no pain deploying just anyhow to thwart genuine and well-intentioned government efforts.

“Sadly, even that which was not stolen was wasted. Government coffers were left empty, with huge debts unpaid and unrecorded (this government is working to quantify the amount owed).

“Even the current high food prices can be traced to past deceit. For example, the previous government purchased fertilisers in 2014, worth N65 billion and left the bill unpaid.

“In 2015 the suppliers could not supply fertilisers which resulted in a low harvest, shortages and high food prices.

“This government had to pay off the debt so that the suppliers could begin to supply fertilisers again.

Mr. Shehu expressed optimism that Nigeria had started witnessing another era of green revolution as Nigerians across the country were going back to the farms, from rice in Kebbi and Ebonyi to Soya and Sesame in Jigawa and Kano.

He said that at the same time, Nigerians were looking inwards to identify commercial opportunities from agri-businesses.

(NAN)

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  • St

    If he’s lying then who heads that sector should make statements to reject his claim, cos then it will be an accusation…. lol

  • KBE

    How much is that? As soon as Buhari was sworn in he ordered a release of 50 billion naira to joint multinational task force against boko haram. Where did he get that money from. These are lame excuses that do not hold water from very lazy, clueless and incompetent government.

  • ahmed

    When will Buhari stop blaming Jonathan. Abdulsalam, OBJ, Yar Adua & Jonathan did not blame anybody when they took over Nigeria. Buhari and APC criminal are just deceiving Nigerians. They have nothing to offer Nigerians. They are only buying time. They will continue to blame Jonathan till their period ends. Very soon Buhari, Tinubu, Liar Mohammed and other APC members will start blaming Jonathan for their inability to make love to their wives.

  • agbobu

    YES WITH GOODLUCK JONATHAN AS PRESIDENT NIGERIA AND NIGERIANS DO NOT NEED AN
    ENEMY. GOODLUCK JONATHAN AS PRESIDENT WAS A VERY GREAT CURSE ON NIGERIA.
    GOODLUCK JONATHAN MUST BE HELD TO ACCOUNT FOR HIS VERY NUMEROUS SINS
    AGAINST NIGERIA. ANY THING SHORT OF THIS IS VERY UNACCEPTABLE AND NOT AN
    OPTION.

  • yukkmouff

    Did Jona also leave used condoms behind for you lot to clear out?! Nonsense!!! Quit whining and fix the damn economy for goodness sake!

  • Rommel

    What I expect a reasonable person to do is to tell us if the report is untrue and then give us facts to prove Garba Shehu wrong,not to call people names,if President Jonathan could not pay salaries by December 2014,does it not show how bad things had been then? let all well meaning citizens of Nigeria encourage this administration,we have a president who is willing and ready to say things as they are instead of sugar coating lies

  • hansa

    All these excuses and accusations are useless. If some money could not be paid back that means someone committed a fraud. Why can’t they trace who committed the fraud? Didn’t Emir Sanusi warn Buhari administration a few days ago to stop blaming past administrations and focus on the present? Didn’t they know Jonah messed up Nigerian economy, and promised to bring those responsible for it to book, and also fixed the economy.