The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25, 2023 general election, Peter Obi, has accused the Federal Government of failing to disclose the level of bankruptcy or deficit inherited by the President Bola Tinubu administration in 2023.
This is in reaction to the earlier claims by the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, that the current administration inherited a bankrupt country from the previous administration.
This was made known by Peter Obi in a statement issued on Thursday, November 16, 2023, and can be seen on his official X (formerly Twitter account).
The former Anambra State Governor challenged the Federal Government to disclose the deficit inherited from the President Muhammadu Buhari administration; a move that will portray its level of transparency and accountability.
Obi faulted the Buhari government for failing to disclose the deficit inherited when it claimed the same in 2015 against the preceding Goodluck Jonathan-led government.
The government should be transparent, accountable
- The statement from Peter Obi reads, “I just read yesterday, a widely publicised story from the present APC-led Federal Government saying that they inherited a bankrupt nation from their predecessor APC administration. But the story failed to disclose what they inherited which had qualified us for bankruptcy status.
- “One major characteristic of responsible governance is transparency and strict accountability. This demands that the government disclose exactly the degree of deficit they inherited. What is inherited should be disclosed to enable the public to know where we are and where we are headed.
- “Recall that the previous APC government made a similar claim in 2015 against the PDP administration that handed over to them without telling the nation what it actually inherited.
- “Rather, they took our debt profile from N12.6 trillion in 2015 to N87 trillion in 2023 when they left office without improving on any indices of development: Education, Health, Poverty eradication, and Security.”
The cost of governance must be reduced
The LP presidential candidate further stressed the significance of spending public funds on development sectors like education, security and healthcare, among others.
- He said, “Instead, the condition of the nation on every development index got worse, leading to the present sad state. Nigerians know things are bad, and they experience it daily. What they now want to hear regularly are measurable and verifiable steps to improve the situation.
- “Also, the alarm raised by the government about the bad state of our finances raises questions about the rationale behind some expenditure items in the supplementary budget recently signed into law.’’
Obi also noted that the FG should reduce its cost of governance, as the citizens await “measurable and verifiable steps” to ameliorate the nation’s economy.
- He said, “The present revelation also goes to buttress the argument that I have made since electioneering season that the cost of governance is too high and must be drastically reduced.
- “A bankrupt country should channel every available resource into funding critical development sectors like security, healthcare, education, and eradication of poverty by addressing youth unemployment, not spending in non-essential areas. So, what we expect are measurable and verifiable steps to improve the situation.’’
In case you missed it
Recall that on Monday, November 13, 2023, the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, had lamented that the current administration inherited a bankrupt country from the previous administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, the revenue generated by the Bola Tinubu-led administration is being used to repay what was taken from the country.
Ribadu, however, said despite the financial constraint that had affected budgetary allocations, the Federal Government would do everything within its power to ensure a robust and viable defence management and apparatus in the country.