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Buhari’s Government Blames Jonathan for Depreciation of Naira

Kingsley Kanayo

The federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari has said the depreciation of the naira is the “direct consequence of the incomprehensible mismanagement of the economy and the mindless looting of the national treasury” under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

On Friday, the naira exchanged at its worst in history — N260 to $1 — in the parallel market. The parallel rate is considered as the real market value of the national currency.

“If there was still any honour left among thieves, there is no way the leaders of a party under whose watch the nation’s economy suffered a monumental mismanagement and the central bank was turned to the ATM or piggy bank of a few people will have the temerity to insult a government that is working hard to turn things around or the citizens who are bearing the brunt of such mismanagement,” Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, said in a statement on Sunday.

According to The Cable, “It is now clear to all Nigerians that if the PDP had won the last general elections, Nigeria’s economy would not have survived one more month, considering the battering it received under the immediate past administration. It is therefore unconscionable that those who should show contrition and hunker down to avoid public opprobrium are the same ones pointing an accusing finger at the Buhari administration.”

According to Segun Adeyemi, special adviser to the minister, Mohammed described “the comments credited to Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, that businesses might collapse in the next six months because the Buhari administration had mismanaged the economy, as the clearest indication yet that the PDP and its leaders were still in denial about the massive body blows they inflicted on the Nigerian economy.”

“Ekweremadu complained about the depreciation of the naira without telling Nigerians who ‘dollarised’ the Nigerian economy by bribing many individuals and groups with dollars during the last elections, thus inflicting a knock-out punch on the local currency. He also failed to tell Nigerians which government presided over the frenzied mop-up of dollars, either for ‘armsgate’ or for slush fund purposes, from the CBN to a point where it almost ran out of the hard currency.” Mohammed said “even though the Buhari administration met an economy that was in coma, it had refused to use that as an excuse for inaction, hence had been working hard on measures that would turn the economy around and greatly offer relief to Nigerians by lifting millions, not thousands, of people out of poverty through a massive social intervention policy.

“The outcome of the months of hard work will manifest soon in the 2016 national budget that will give succour to millions of Nigerians who are reeling from fallout of the solecism of the immediate past Administration that turned the country into a cash bazaar.”

The minister advised the leaders of the PDP and members of the immediate past administration who were involved in the emerging cases of looting binge “to urgently return, to government coffers, the funds they have squirreled out of the commonwealth”. “They are lucky that Nigerians are not as incautious as they are, otherwise they would not be able to walk around freely, not to talk of having the effrontery to fire darts at the government that inherited their rot or the people who are suffering the consequences,” Mohammed said. “They looted the billions of naira that were allocated for the fight against insurgency, causing many innocent and patriotic soldiers to die needlessly, yet they are not remorseful.

They looted the treasury to influence the last elections, doling out money as if it was going out of fashion, yet they continue to grandstand. “In the latest revelation, a minister under the immediate past dispensation admitted to sharing 600 million naira to six chairmen of the contact and mobilisation committee of the PDP for the last general elections, 300 million naira to an account given by a former PDP chairman, 200 million naira to a PDP governorship candidate and 100 million naira to a former PDP governor. This is just one case out of many, yet these revelations are but a tip of the iceberg of what Nigerians will hear in the days ahead.”

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