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President Muhammadu Buhari, has yet again, proven that his election by Nigerians during the March 28 presidential poll was not a ‘fluke’.
This was the assertion of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who hailed Buhari for coming to the aid of the long-suffering Nigerian workers with a multi-billion-naira package that will not only ensure that all arrears of salaries owed by many states across the country are immediately paid, but will also makes it easier for the states to meet their monthly salary obligations henceforth.
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Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party’s national publicity secretary, stated in a statement issued on Tuesday, July 7, that the president’s gesture has proven to Nigerians that he is indeed the father of the nation and an exemplary leader.
“We say this because when states were financially handicapped during the tenure of the last federal government, opposition states were hung out to dry while states belonging to the then ruling PDP got generous bailouts.
“The PDP that spent the past 16 years plundering and pillaging Nigeria has boasted that the Nigerian people will soon come, cap in hand, to beg them to return to power. What delusion! What arrogance! Who presided over the looting and the mismanagement of public funds that made it impossible for the nation to absorb the shock of the falling oil prices?
“Who depleted the Excess Crude Account (ECA) without authorization? Who has degraded the standard of living of Nigerians?” the party queried via the statement issued in Abuja.
Buhari’s approval include: federal and state governments getting $1.7 billion out of the $2 billion remaining in the ECA; the sharing of about $2.1 billion sourced from the LNG’s payment to the Federation Account; and a CBN-packaged special intervention fund that will offer financing to the states, ranging between N250 billion to N300 billion, as a soft loan available to states to access for the purposes of paying backlog of salaries.
In addition, the president approved a debt relief programme that will help states restructure their commercial loans currently put at over N680 billion.
This implies that the life span of such loans will be extended, while reducing the states’ debt-servicing expenditures, thus leaving the states with enough resources (which otherwise would have been removed at source by the banks) to meet their monthly salary obligations, among others.
The statement therefore read further: “history is repeating itself before our very eyes. Some 31 years ago, Buhari, then as a military head of state, also inherited a huge national rot similar to what has been bequeathed to it by the NPN government and had to approve 480 million Naira for the payment of arrears of workers’ salaries. Truly, the President is a man of destiny.
“We thank Nigerians for voting the APC into power at the centre and for believing in us even when the horizon became hazy, not out of our making but because of the misdeeds of the past. By their relentless support for President Buhari and the APC, Nigerians have indeed demonstrated that what is worth fighting for is worth defending.”
In spite of all these, Nigerians are still unhappy with Buhari over his inability to stem the consistent attacks of islamic insurgents, Boko Haram, after their recent bombing left over 20 people dead in Zaria, Kaduna state.