Top members of the APC and the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are reportedly divided over the sources of the N804.7 billion relief package being considered to bail out states who haven’t paid workers salaries.
The PDP said that a very large amount of the bailout funds came from savings left behind by the administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan, however, the Presidency disagreed, arguing that the money came from proceeds of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).
Upon assumption of office on May 29, President Muhammadu Buhari said the departing PDP government left an empty treasury and pleaded with Nigerians for patience as they await urgent implementation of his change agenda.
The Presidency also denied some media reports that the presidential relief package was drawn from the Excess Crude Accounts, ECA, stressing that the ECA is intact. This came as state governments, the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and some eminent Nigerians praised President Muhammadu Buhari over the relief package, saying it will help boost the economy.
In a statement by Chief Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, he said that the bailout would go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of Nigerian workers in various states of the federation, most of whom haven’t been paid for several months.
“This development is in clear contradiction to the earlier impression given by President Buhari to Nigerians and the international community that they should not expect much from his administration in its first 100 days because according him, on assumption of office, he met a virtually empty treasury.
“We want to believe that given the President’s release of such huge amount, he may have realized that he was earlier misdirected on the actual financial state of the nation at the time he took over. In this regard, we expect the President, as a respected statesman to do the needful to correct that erroneous impression.
“Furthermore, we expect President Buhari’s APC administration as direct beneficiary of this savings initiated by past PDP administrations to appreciate the strategic importance of always saving for rainy days and as such guarantee prudent and transparent management of the nation’s resources now under its care.”
Metuh said the party therefore charged the APC as a party in government to put its house in order, desist from injecting confusion and distracting the President from settling down to form a government and face the enormous challenges of governance, especially the implementation of his long list of campaign promises to Nigerians.
He said Nigerians are no longer interested in insults, tirades and propaganda but in actions and policies that would move the nation forward, a stance the APC has failed to recognize.