– The former governor blamed former governors for Nigeria’s current problem
– He said they blocked every move by Jonathan to save
The former governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi has said the Goodluck Jonathan administration tried to save for a rainy day but governors stopped him from doing so.
The President Muhammadu Buhari has always pointed accusing fingers at the former administration for depleting the country’s treasury but the former Anambra governor has said that the governors should be blamed.
The cable reports that Obi insited that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of finance, and Muhammad Sanusi II, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), begged the federal government to save but the governors rallied against it.
He advised the Buhari administration to borrow with a plan in mind.
He said: “I was in government when the likes of Ngozi Iweala, Aganga, Sanusi were crying let’s save; we collectively said we don’t want savings, and we are now in this mess; we cannot afford to increase it by going to borrow without a clear road map on what we would use it for.
“People start saving in crisis. Go and check most nations that save, they started it in crisis situation, because they could see the point of not saving yesterday; and that is where we are.
“I have said it before that even if we saved five percent of all our oil earnings from 1960 to date, which is about $1.2 trillion, considering a compound interest of about five percent, we should have about 150 billion today.”
“Imagine what would have been happening if we were in that situation. That was 56 years ago; we have 44 years to our 100th year of independence.
“What I am saying is that if we decide today to save on 50% of our own budgeted output of 2.2 million barrels per day, we decide to save on just 1 million barrels per day, with our earnings at $50 per barrel, in the next 44 years, we would be at 50 to 60 billion dollars.”
“I was in government when Ngozi Iweala was crying meeting after meeting, let’s save money; we need to save for a rainy day. We said no. Some say this woman should not be found near this country,
“We even went to court as a body to challenge savings, and look at where we are today. Instead of us realising from that mistake to say, today let’s start….
“Change that constitution that says we cannot save; what type of constitution is that? When we are talking about constitution amendment, we should amend things that are immediate.
“Issue of savings should be included in our constitution today; oil is a depleting asset, and we are not even saving for tomorrow.”
Jonathan earlier revealed how he was forced to spend from the excess crude oil revenue account during his administration.
The former president made this revelation during interview programme with Bloomberg TV.
Jonathan revealed that state governors were to blame for pressurising him to spend from the reserve fund thereby reducing the $20 billion at the inception of his administration left by Olusegun Obasanjo to about $2 billion when he left office on May 29, 2015.