Jul 14, 2015

Bailout: Jonathan generated the funds used, NLNG MD insists

The Managing Director of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Ltd, Babs Omotowa has insisted that the N1.2 trillion bailout fund for States was generated by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Omotowa who made this known in an interview refuted claims by the presidency claiming the fund was not generated from Jonathan’s administration.

The NLNG boss while confirming that $1.6bn was paid to the Government from operations said “We did not pay the government $1.6billion dividend but $1.6billion corporate income and education tax, which is different from dividend.”
He however insisted that “this of course is from our activities in 2014.”
Following the plea by some State Governors to President Muhammadu Buhari for rescue in order to pay workers salary, Buhari assented to the release of the sum of N1.2 trillion last week.
At least 12 of the 36 States including Osun, Rivers, Oyo, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Ondo, Plateau, Benue, and Bauchi states are believed to owe their workers over N110billion in salaries and allowances.
Following the release of the fund, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement through its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh insisted that the fund was saved by the immediate past administration.
    “It is gratifying to note that gradually the evidence of monies left behind by the PDP-led administration is coming to public light despite effort by the new government to hide the facts.
    “The public had been made aware that $2 billion was left in the ECA for which the Accountant–General and the APC confirmed approvals for the withdrawal of $1.7 billion.” The statement read.
In reaction to the above, the Presidency in a statement through the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the PDP claim was false and ridiculous.
Adesina in the statement said “The Presidency deplores the attempt by the PDP and its agents to create an unnecessary controversy over the well-intentioned effort by President Muhammadu Buhari to give some relief to state governments and long-suffering public sector workers.
    “Metuh’s claim that a significant amount of the funds came from savings accumulated in the Excess Crude Account and handed over to the Buhari administration is completely false and deliberately intended to mislead the public,” it added.
​Also, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh the PDP National Vice-Chairman S/South had accused Buhari of going about the bailout process in the wrong way.
He insisted that the Senate should have appropriated the funds, not the executive.
This will be the second accusation of impunity the federal government is facing, after being accused of masterminding the occupation of 22 Rivers State councils by the state Police Command.