Saraki tackles Nigerian govt., insists Nigeria is broke

Senate President, Bukola Saraki

A Senator, Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday insisted Nigeria is broke.

Mr. Saraki’s submission contrasts the position of the Federal Government which, via the Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, said the nation is not broke “in spite of the challenges on revenue stream coming from source – the oil sector”.

Mr. Yuguda, after the Federation Account and Allocation Committee meeting, said it was mischief makers who were peddling claims that Nigeria is broke.

He challenged critics to come up with evidence of “what they mean for a country to be broke”, as “nobody has depleted our foreign reserves”.

“I have spoken to various people on this issue. We have never skipped holding Federation Account Allocation meeting for a month. We have not failed to pay salaries of workers, or missed our payment terms on the bond we raised in Nigeria. I do not know the issue about the country being broke.

“If not for the devaluation of the Naira, nobody has taken out all the money the country has in excess crude account. Nobody has said we have wiped out what we were able to save through the sovereign wealth fund. Nigeria is working. States are getting their money. There are challenges on the revenue stream coming in from one source – the oil sector. And we are trying to improve the revenue stream from the non-oil sector,” Mr. Yuguda said.

But Mr. Saraki disagrees.

“The country is broke. If you are having problem and are unable to meet your fiscal commitment and obligations, you are broke. Even the FAAC meeting has failed to hold twice because the Government could not see sufficient money in the account. So it’s just waiting for when the revenue would go up a bit.

“We have to tighten our belt. Hard time is ahead. There is no point pretending there is no problem. This Government of President Jonathan lost a golden opportunity to prevent this problem before oil price slide in the international market. It did not prepare,” the lawmaker told PREMIUM TIMES.

Asked why the country is facing economic problem now, Mr. Saraki, representing Kwara Central Senatorial District in National Assembly, blamed “leakages” and “mismanagement” that he said has characterise the management of  the Excess Crude Account by the Federal Government, thereby eliminating safety net that could have cushioned the effect of oil price slump.

“Because we did not do the right thing when oil price had not declined,” the ex-Kwara governor said. “Other countries in Asia also face this problem but they are not feeling the effects like we do because they prepared. They were not wasteful. But unfortunately we didn’t prepare.”

“Mismanagement, corruption, wastage and leakages characterise oil subsidy management. Oil subsidy amounting to $8 billion annually accounts for about 80 per cent draw down from the ECA. But with proper management and without corruption we could have been spending 20 per cent of that,” Mr. Saraki said.

He said Nigeria pays about $4 billion for kerosene subsidy but Nigerians are not benefitting.

“You are just throwing the money to some persons,” he lamented.

Mr. Saraki also countered the claim of the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that the pressure by state governments to share the ECA led to the depletion of the funds.

“No. Subsidy payment accounts for 80 per cent of the draw down from the ECA. It was not because states are demanding their share every time. If it is true that it is the states that caused the depletion, and not Federal Government and its waste, they (FG) should not have spent their share.

“By now, that problem arises, they could have shown example by telling Nigerians to see their own part saved in an account; that it’s only states that needed the money, hence the pressure to share the money every time as said by the Minister of Finance.”

Currently, Nigeria’s ECA stands at about $2.45 billion while foreign reserve is down to $34.38 billion when compared with $43.2 billion a year ago.


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  • tundemash

    According to Dumbo, as far as his co-rogues keep buying private jets, Nigeria is not broke.

    • Okey

      The souls of depositors in the Societe Generale Bank who died of hypertension owing to the fact that their deposits were stolen, will judge those who stole their deposits and clowns who hold the thieves as messiahs of Change.

      • tundemash

        And those souls shall haunt those who have the power of prosecution but who sat idle in Aso Rock and didn’t prosecute Saraki.

      • shewn

        And was saraki the cause of the global melt down that affected the bank? Think we’ll my brother, SGB wasn’t the only back that fell in Nigeria hope you know?

        • Okey

          Why mention Saraki ? I only said “those who stole depositors money” and you went beyond that to mention Saraki, it seems you know more than most of us know. In any event, If I deposit money with you, how will it “melt” down the drain unless you are a thoroughly bad manager. Does it mean we will now blame those those banks in whose custody depositors fund did not “melt” and who paid back depositors money for having done evil ?

    • larry

      Tunde mess you are an Animal , even this useless saraki has private jet ,how will nigeria not be broke when the sarakis are ruling Kwara like their Fiefdom .

      • tundemash

        creek rat …. let Dumbo prosecure Saraki; that is part of what we ask.

        • larry

          God will punish you and your parents

          • tundemash

            God isn’t as stup1d as you and does not use drugs as you do !

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    What’s news in this, please?

  • kenny

    Saraki accusing someone of corruption?

    • larry

      Even this useless saraki has private jet
      ,how will nigeria not be broke when the sarakis are ruling Kwara like
      their Fiefdom .

  • emmanuel

    Saraki isba semi-litrate.

    A nation that is broke wilo not honour matured bonds, pay Salaries and still have three categories of reserves – Foreign Reserve of over $33 billion, ECA and SWF.

    Let him go to Greece and he will know how to be broke.

    Hear his lame reasons, the FAAC have to wait for more funds before sharing. Did the Economic mamagement team not tell everybody to hrace up for jard times ahead? If the rogue gobernors qre not selfish, will they not take whatever is realised and go back home to manage such?

    Bukola should just get out of the way make we hear word. I am sure against their expectation, they thought their Heritage Bank will start making profit immediately, now the figures are not adding up. He and Sanusi may have to draw up funds from their reserve to pay staff salaries

    • shewn

      For you to call Saraki a semi literate shows what you really know

  • austine007

    APC is is broke… No more 20K per week for twitter and facebook? Well, this postponement really threw you guys off balance. Now, PDP has gone to hire their own American Consultants as APC did last year by hiring Obama’s Campaign team leader. Wait ooo! APC where would you guys recoup the monies spent if you lose the Presidential Elections? I hope it is not the multiple taxation you guys have been using in Lagos would you want to introduce across APC states oooo? Well, as for those who funded your campaign on the promise that they will get Oil-Blocs as compensation I think they should start asking for their refund now… Because I see that those whose license would be expiring by March 2015 are going to retract their steps and back PDP if NOT… Wahala dey!

  • SHASHI

    MAY GOD VISIT THE PEOPLE THAT PUT THIS COUNTRY IN SHAME IN THE NEGATIVE WAY.MAY GOD RUIN THEM AS THEY DID TO THE NATION

  • Charles Owolabi

    bokola where were you when the state governors led by APC governors – Amachi in particular were demanding that the FG should share the money in the excess crude account?
    What did the governors do with all the money they collected from the excess crude account?
    Rivers for example got over 5 billion dollars. It is disingenuous of you to suddenly develop selective abnastia on this matter.
    Recall that when the Minister for finance raised an alarm on the need to build up the excess crude account over 2 years ago you were one of the senators who supported an increase in the bench mark. Now you have the guts to open your mouth to pass the blame to the Federal Government.
    Bokola what ever happened to depositors funds in SGBN. Did you not systematically steal all the money in the bank and use same for your elections in Kwara state.
    Do you know how many innocent Nigerians died as a result of your stealing?
    What gives you the moral right to come out to talk about mismanagement?
    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black
    Bokola your should be in Jail every body knows it in Nigeria
    Just shut up that dirty mouth of yours and enjoy your ill gotten wealth
    You are a certified thief.

  • Adeyinka Adebayo Taofeeq

    Nigeria president is nothing to write home about.

  • thusspokez

    Haters of God cannot be atheists. Atheists don’t believe God exists. You cannot hate someone who you claim does not exist, so atheists cannot be said to hate God.

    Atheism from its Greek origin is: without + God. From this, one can see how central God is to the philosophy. Indeed, without the existence of belief in God, there would be no “without + God”.

    It therefore defies logic to argue that followers of a philosophy which was born out of intense dislike and opposition to theism cannot be haters of God. Well, if atheists cannot hate God, can they love God? And if the latter were possible, how could they remain atheists?

  • thusspokez

    The founding fathers of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) fought for the enactment of Decree No. 16 of 1990 (now an Act of the National Assembly) to regulate and monitor conformity to the ethical standards of Public Relations (PR) practice in Nigeria.

    The author weakens his argument by citing some silly decree whose objective, no doubt, is to promote ‘closed shop’.

    Anyone, can go into PR as long as they have very good communication skills, and marketing skills. In most organisations, the higher you go in the corporate leader, the greater the need, as part of one’s job, to polish one’s PR skills. Indeed, some organisation even send their employees to PR workshops and trainings.

    The greater problem in Nigeria — worst than corruption — is mediocrity. Too many people are given jobs for which they are neither qualified nor possess the necessary skills. Hence the cluelessness that permeate Nigerian governments and institutions, and even private organisations..