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HomePoliticsPresident Buhari's adviser attacks PDP Governors over opposition to ruga, subsidy removal

President Buhari’s adviser attacks PDP Governors over opposition to ruga, subsidy removal

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Garba Shehu, President Mohammadu Buhari’s senior special assistant on media and publicity has accused the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of refusing to support the initiative to end herders crisis in the country and thereby save livestock and lives.

In a statement reacting to the position of the main opposition governors on the present situation in the country, Shehu stated that the call by the governors elected under PDP that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to revalue the naira would damage the economy further.

He said naira appreciation would damage exports, including oil revenue on which NNPC depends on and damage small businesses and employment.

“When the governors claim a lack of federal institutions’ money pouring into their States’ coffers is an affront to democracy, constitutionalism, and federalism, they fail to mention the ugliest trend against the integrity of Nigeria comes by own hands with their refusal to support the Federal Government’s earnest desire to reinstate the local government as the third tier and finding a lasting solution to farmer-herder conflicts costing the nation lives and livestock.

“This initiative brings rights and support for generations of all ages to bring solutions to challenges that different communities of our country have faced but the PDP governors reject it – denying all Nigerians their constitutional right to live and work in any state of the Federation – preferring to appeal to ethnic division and hatred rather than support the first practical solution offered since independence,” Shehu said in the statement.

The statement further stated that the governors communique “was a spectacular demonstration to the people of Nigeria as to why this party and its representatives should not be entrusted with national leadership of our country any time soon.”

He said: “In bemoaning the decision by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) not to make contributions to the Federation Account, the governors appear to believe NNPC can spend the same money twice: once on the petroleum subsidy – which they all support – and then on their States via the Federation Account.

“NNPC is a trustee for the nation – and this means it must manage its finances with prudence and for the long-term to safeguard the financial support it bestows on our country.

“What the governors are asking of NNPC is to ‘break the bank’ for their own profligate political ends.”

The president’s media adviser said the call by the governors for the CBN to stop further devaluation of the naira would have negative consequences on exports, oil revenues, small businesses and employment.

“Similar profligacy and contradiction are in full view with their call to the Central Bank to appreciate the value of the Naira. This would damage exports – including oil revenues on which NNPC depends

– as well as damage small businesses and employment.

“But an appreciated currency would benefit those spending on luxuries from abroad – this, no doubt, being the leading desire of a typical PDP governor.”

On the governors call for states to be allowed to involve in mining, the Presidency said, “Similarly, the governors appeal to each other for more involvement of States in mining and geophysical activities within their States.

“The question must be asked: ‘Why has this taken you so long?’ Such opportunities and States’ powers have been fully available since independence – yet only now the PDP realises it?

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“And, of course, the PDP grieve over the Federal Government’s action over Twitter – for it represents the curtailment of their ability to use the platform to spread fake news and invented stories to the detriment of community and good-neighbourliness between the peoples of Nigeria.

“The PDP Governors propose no solutions to any of our nation’s challenges in the face of COVID and global economic downturn: instead, they grasp for more money and mourn their lack of access to social media to spread falsehoods and hate.

“Their statement is evidence, if any were needed, as to why the President and the APC ended the PDP’s one-party rule in 2015, were re-elected by an increased margin in 2019, and why their winning trend is set to continue far into the future.”

In their communique, the PDP governors had warned the All Progressive Congress (APC) administration that its rate of borrowing could lead the country into bankruptcy and leave a huge burden for coming generations.

They frowned at the N36 trillion current debt profile coming after the previous PDP administration had eliminated foreign debt.

After deliberating in particular on the deteriorating economic and security situation in the country, and worsening social and political tensions, the meeting’s communique said: “The PDP Governors frowned at the rising and seemingly uncontrollable debt profile of Nigeria with over 80% of normal Appropriation spent on debt servicing.

“All the gains of the PDP Government under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, where Nigeria exited its foreign debt obligations has been destroyed.

“Borrowing for frivolous items such as funding the Nigerian Television Authority is scandalous. Money should only be borrowed for productive purposes as Nigeria’s current debt of over N36 Trillion Naira is becoming clearly unsustainable relative to our earnings and GDP.

“We should not saddle incoming generations with undue debt burden. The borrowing spree of the APC administration if unchecked will certainly lead Nigeria into avoidable bankruptcy.”

The governors expressed alarm at the opaque manner of the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), condemning its decision not to remit statutory contributions to the Federation Account, thereby starving states of funds.

The communique added: “The Forum examined the operations of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and expressed alarm at the opaque manner it carries out its operations.

“It decried the recent NNPCs decision not to make its statutory contributions to the Federation Account, thereby starving the States and Local Governments and indeed Nigerians of funds needed for employment, development and general wellbeing.

“The meeting emphasised that under the Constitution, the NNPC is duty bound to make proceeds of sale or business of Petroleum available to the Federation Account which belongs to the three tiers of government, excluding reasonable and verified and verifiable cost of operations.

“The Federal government through NNPC is a manager of our oil wealth merely as A Trustee for all Nigerians.

“The meeting frowned at a situation where the NNPC decides in a totally discretionary and often whimsical manner, how much to spend, how to spend it and how much to remit to the Federation Account, contrary to the letters and even the spirit of the 1999 Constitution.”

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