Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has again attacked President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing him of squandering more than $45 billion of the nation’s reserves.
He said the poor value of the naira is a direct outcome of the government’s failure to protect the economy.
Addressing women market leaders Iyalodes and Iyalojas from the South-west who visited him, the former president, however, he did not have a personal issue with Dr. Jonathan.
He said his comments were a warning on the dangers of the poor leadership the president is offering.
The market women and leaders were led to the meeting in Obasanjo’s Abeokuta Hill Top mansion by the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Chief (Mrs.) Alaba Lawson, and Iyalode Ibadan, Alhaja Aminat Abiodun represented by Eketa Iyalode, Mrs. Adedeji, among others.
Also in the delegation was the Iyaloja-General of Lagos, Mrs, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, a daughter of All Progressives Congress, APC national leader, Senator Ahmed Tinubu.
Obasanjo began his diatribe thus, occassionally speaking in Yoruba: “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 account. 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, I 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.”