09 December 2014, Abuja – The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has expressed worry over the country’s dwindling excess crude account which he alleged has dropped to $2.2 billion as at Monday.
Addressing journalists at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) said the federal government drew a billion dollar last month to augment Federation Account allocation.
He said if the government takes another billion in December to pay salaries and another billion in January just before the election, then by February, federal government workers might not have their salaries.
“I think it is important for Nigerians to understand that we have only 2.2 billion dollars in the excess crude account and they are taking a billion dollars every month to augment federation account allocation so that they can just barely pay salaries.
According to El-Rufai, the federal government has been taking $1billion monthly from the excess crude account to augment the collapse of oil revenue.
“The federal government is relying not on the oil they sell because they don’t sell a lot of oil, half of it is stolen and we know who is doing the stealing and the price has come down to 60 to 70 dollars per barrel more than 10 dollars below the budgeted price of 78 dollars, so very soon we are getting to point that the federal government will not be able to pay salaries.
Speaking on his expectation on the forthcoming APC national convention, El-Rufai said the party has already done a lot to try to get the aspirants to be committed to supporting whoever wins.
“I think that is important, and we have gotten that undertaking from the aspirants. Based on my closeness with Genaral Muhammadu Buhari, I know that he is talking to other aspirants without exception and the whole idea is the party and the country are more important than individual aspirations.
“I am confident that the convention will go well and one of the aspirants will emerge as the winner, and I believe it is going to be General Buhari because he is the strongest candidate, every prediction, by every medium, has projected that he is going to get the ticket, “ he said.
On what the Kaduna people will expect from him if he is elected into office, he said the people of Kaduna should not expect magic, going by the present economic situation.
He however promise to do his best to turn the fortunes of the state.
“Anybody that expect magic in Kaduna should bare this in mind as well that Kaduna has huge debt, second only to Lagos. And Lagos has the capacity to bear the debt and pay and they have the internally generated revenue to pay back because Fashola collects N20 billion a month as internally generated revenue, Kaduna collects N1billion a month; so you see there is a huge difference.
“But we will do our best, we will apply all the knowledge, experience and network that we have to ensure that we deliver services to the people in Kaduna State but it will not be easy, I just want to make that very clear, but we would simply do our best,” he said.
– This Day