The chairman of the new Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has unequivocally condemned the rape of the country’s economy by the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration.
He said that despite claims to the contrary by the government in a futile bid to deceive Nigerians, the overwhelming evidence is that the Nigerian economy has been run aground and is now comatose.
The assertions are contained in a statement issued by the faction in Abuja, and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chukwuemeka Eze.
It drew attention to the massive scale of officially-induced oil theft, the dwindling returns from oil and massive looting going on at the federal level as evidence that Nigeria is on the brink of economic collapse.
“One manifestation of this is the Federal Government’s inability to pay states their share of the Federal Allocation since July. The last time that states were paid was for part of July.”
Baraje further noted that the arrears have continued to mount daily.
“As at today, the states are being owed N336 billion, with the N75 billion being the balance of the July 2013 arrears, N121 billion from June augmentation and over N90 billion as July augmentation.
“The implication of this unfortunate development is that the 36 states have become impoverished and unable to meet up with basic obligations, including the payment of workers’ monthly salaries, which many of the states have been unable to do due to lack of funds.”
The nPDP underlined that the States have also been unable to meet their obligation to contractors, a scenario that is complemented by the growing rate of unemployment, which presently hovers around 80 per cent.
“Let us ponder this: If states cannot pay their contractors – not to talk of entering into new contracts – if states cannot pay their workers because there is no money to pay them, what could result is a huge social catastrophe that will add to the social, economic and political inferno already ravaging Nigeria today.
“All these portend very grave danger for our dear country as youth and labour restiveness appears imminent.”
The party warned Nigerians to expect deterioration in the unemployment situation which is inevitable should the Federal Government continue with the present shoddy management of the economy which leaves much room for abuse.
“Ironically, while the masses suffer, Government officials continue to feed fat, using various guises to fritter away our common patrimony,” Baraje adding that their life of opulence has blinded them to the realities of the monumental suffering to which the masses are being subjected on a daily basis.
“Where has all the money gone? For an instance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had revealed that the country earned a total of N1.05 trillion in July, but surprisingly, the Minister had not been able to pay states their due statutory allocations. Where are the billions of dollars accruable from daily crude oil sales?
“Where are the billions of naira accruable from multiple taxation which is strangulating struggling businesses on a daily basis? And where are the billions of dollars which the Jonathan Administration claims to be saving from one so-called cost-saving measure or the other? Nigerians can no longer be deceived!”
The party issued the chilling warning: “The truth is that Nigeria is broke and that worse days are ahead under this inept and visionless Administration.”