The president made the revelation in London during a meeting with Nigerians resident in the city on Thursday night. President Buhari who was in the United Kingdom for the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference in London, British capital was speaking of the problems bedevilling the oil and gas sector of the economy which he said were part of the challenges he inherited upon an assumption of office.
According to him, the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation, NNPC had over 45 accounts scattered in different banks. The same situation, the president said, was also pervasive across the branches of the military. He said: “We are really in trouble. What we discovered was that we tried to enforce what we called treasury single account, TSA. And the reason was simple. This government did not initiate it. It was the previous government. But it was so unpopular to the bureaucracy and the previous government for its own reasons couldn’t enforce it. But when we came and found that we were broke, we said this is the way to do it. And I will just tell you two examples to convince you.
“First, NNPC, the cow that was giving the milk had more than 45 accounts, ministry of defense, that is the military Army, Navy and air force had over 70 accounts. Tell me which account we can trace in these several accounts. So we enforce TSA. We said there must be TSA. “By the end of December, coming to January this year, that is last month, we mopped up more than N2.2trn which we have used through the bureaucracy system to raise vouchers and sign cheques so that they don’t go into the next budget.”
Speaking further on the state of the economy, the president revealed that some Nigerians were behind the crisis. The president stated that most directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN owned and operated some of the Bureau De Change outfits through which they raked in the foreign exchanges. He said he was determined to stop the ill development and make every Nigerian accountable.
“We found out, when I say we, I mean present federal government, that some of the directors in the central bank own the bureau de change businesses. So when the foreign exchange comes, they take it and give government the change. So we stopped the Federal Government giving bureau de change foreign exchange. “Fellow country men and women, I am giving you a tip of the iceberg of the problem we inherited and we are getting so hard because we have no other way of running the country unless we make everybody accountable”, he said.
While underscoring the importance of education, president Buhari asked the audience to support his administration by educating their children for a better future. On giving diaspora Nigerians a chance to participate in elections, president Buhari said his government was studying the scenario, stressing that what was utmost was to make the process more credible. “We are critically looking at the system itself. We must make sure that the election process itself is credible”, he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that his administration has within three months saved N2.2 trillion for the nation through the enforcement of the Treasury Single Account, TSA.