Obasanjo Says President Jonathan Squandering Oil Savings

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday in Abeokuta accused President Goodluck Jonathan, of squandering $25billion crude oil savings left behind by his administration.

Mr. Obasanjo made the allegation while hosting the South-West women leaders at his residence in Abeokuta said his administration left over $25 billion to his successor, Musa Yar’adua, who raised the sum to $35 billion.

Obasanjo said he also left $40billion in Nigeria’s foreign reserve account after paying the outstanding debt at the time.

He said former President Yar’adua also raised the reserves to $60billion noting that under President Jonathan, the reserves has plummeted to $40billion.

“Our economy should not have been this bad. When I was leaving office about eight years ago, I left a very huge reserve after we had paid all our debts. Almost $25billion we kept in what they called excess crude. The excess from the budget we were saving as reserve for the rainy days. When we left in May 2007, the reserve was said to have been raised to $35billion,” he said.

“But today, that reserve has been depleted! Today, that reserve has been depleted. The reserve we left when we finished paying all our debts, our debts that was about 40billion dollars, that is including debt forgiveness, the remaining debt was not more than $3billion. Our reserve after we had paid off this debt was about $45billion. As I said, they continued till the end of 2007, I heard that the reserve increased to almost $67billion before the end of the year. Our reserve now, learnt is left with around only $30billion.

“That is why the Naira has been falling against the dollar. What would now happen, I learnt if you want to buy a dollar now, it’s about N192 or N195. What it means is this, what you have been buying at N150 to a dollar, now you need N192 or N195 to buy it. That is the real situation. Is there any remedy? There is, but it does not come overnight because it means we have to give up all the bad things we have been doing,” Mr. Obasanjo said.