Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state has bemoaned the present economic situation in the country, saying that even the hardship experienced during the Biafra civil war between 1967 and 1970 pales into significance when compared to what is being experienced in the nation today.
Speaking with journalists, the governor said the fact that President Buhari did not declare a state of emergency on the economy does not imply that Nigeria is not inching to that direction.
He said the worsening economic situation is largely responsible for governor’s inability to pay salary as he has been receiving less than N200m monthly allocation from the federal government when the actual amount he needs to pay workers salaries is N1.7bn.
On the reason for the downturn in the economy, Aregbesola attributed it to massive theft of crude oil under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) controlled federal government.
According to him, the failure of former President Goodluck Jonathan to secure Nigeria’s pipelines led to the nation losing $40m daily to oil theft.
“What we experience in Nigeria today is due to the inexplicable theft of 400,000 barrel of oil every day during the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP.
“It is disheartening to know that from 2013 till when the regime left in 2015, that theft amounted to about 19 percent of the Nigerian common wealth. If we calculate what the nation is losing by 100 dollars, Nigeria loses 40 million dollars daily to oil theft”.
“Nobody has ever asked us how we are managing to pay salaries since we started getting less than N200m as allocation since September 2015. A sum of N1.7 billion is spent on workers’ salaries every month.
“Even the civil war was not as biting as what we are facing in Nigeria now. Because they did not declare economic state of emergency in Nigeria does not mean that Nigeria is not near to that.”
The governor however expressed optimism that with time the APC government will stabilize things.