Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of squandering $25billion crude oil savings his administration left behind.
According to Obasanjo, who disclosed this on Monday in Abeokuta, his administration left over $25 billion to his successor, Musa Yar’adua, who raised the sum to $35 billion.
He added that he left $40billion in Nigeria’s foreign reserve account after paying the outstanding debt at the time and the late Yar’adua also raised the reserves to $60billion, Premium Times reports.
He explained that under Jonathan’s administration, the reserves had dropped to $40billion.
Obasanjo said: “Our economy should not have been this bad. When I was leaving office about eight years ago, I left a very huge reserve after we had paid all our debts. Almost $25billion we kept in what they called excess crude. The excess from the budget we were saving as reserve for the rainy days. When we left in May 2007, the reserve was said to have been raised to $35billion.
“But today, that reserve has been depleted! Today, that reserve has been depleted. The reserve we left when we finished paying all our debts, our debts that was about 40billion dollars, that is including debt forgiveness, the remaining debt was not more than $3billion. Our reserve after we had paid off this debt was about $45billion. As I said, they continued till the end of 2007, I heard that the reserve increased to almost $67billion before the end of the year. Our reserve now, learnt is left with around only $30billion.
“That is why the Naira has been falling against the dollar. What would now happen, I learnt if you want to buy a dollar now, it’s about N192 or N195. What it means is this, what you have been buying at N150 to a dollar, now you need N192 or N195 to buy it. That is the real situation. Is there any remedy? There is, but it does not come overnight because it means we have to give up all the bad things we have been doing.”
The former president said he had no grudge against Jonathan but was more concerned about the interest of the country, and therefore cared less about criticisms.
“I have no grudges against Jonathan and I think Jonathan equally has no grudges against me. I’m not quarrelling with Jonathan but all I know is that whatever is good for Nigeria, that I’m ready to die for,” he said.
On the forthcoming election, Obasanjo advised the electorates to vote for candidates with integrity and good records.
The former President has repeatedly taken a swipe at Jonathan’s administration, accusing him of promoting and tolerating corruption, and failing to provide security for Nigerians.
In December 2014, Obasanjo released a book, ‘My Watch’, in which he criticized President Jonathan.
On Saturday, Obasanjo had insisted that Nigeria had wasted all the chances to greatness given to it by God.