President Muhammadu Buhari has decried the rot in federal agencies under previous governments, vowing to work towards recovering “billions of dollars” in the next three months. Speaking on Tuesday during the meeting with the 36 states governors, Buhari said the days of mismanaging the resources of the country are over. “There are financial and administrative instructions in every government parastatal and agency. But all these were thrown to the dogs in the past,” Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, quoted Buhari as saying. “Honestly, our problems are great, but we will do our best to surmount them.
The next three months may be hard, but billions of dollars can be recovered, and we will do our best.” Buhari promised to tackle corruption decisively, frowning at how the excess crude account had been handled since 2011. He warned against payment of national revenue into any account other than that of the federation account, saying that he learnt a lot of illegal activities were taking place in many government corporations, particularly the NNPC. On the demand of governors that monies spent on federal projects be refunded, Buhari assured them that their request would be granted but insisted that due process must be followed.
The president also promised special assistance for Borno, Yobo and Adamawa – the three northeastern states badly affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. He also said that a comprehensive statement on the economic and financial situation inherited by his administration will be made to the nation within the next four weeks. “We will try and put the system back into the right position. What happened in the 2nd Republic has apparently happened again, and even worse, but we will restore sanity to the system,” he said. On an immediate lifeline for states that are owing salaries, Buhari said a committee headed by Yemi Osinbajo, the vice-president, would look at the excess crude account and “see what can be shared immediately”.