Posted by News Express | 31 October 2015 | 3,761 times
President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that Nigeria is indeed broke. He said that the country is at the moment struggling to pay workers salaries even as he says he wants to be remembered as a Nigerian president who fought corruption to a standstill, assuring Nigerians, who are not involved in corruptly enriching themselves with public funds, not to be afraid.
President Buhari said in the coming days he would have to prune the number of ministries so as to be able to pay salaries. He’s said this barely 24 hours after the Senate confirmed 37 ministerial nominees he sent to the upper chamber of the National Assembly for confirmation.
Speaking at a press conference after the India-Africa Summit, which took place in New Delhi, India, President Buhari said he would not lose sleep over criticism that he was being selective in the fight against corruption.
He was asked: “There are talks that your government is too slow in addressing infrastructure?”
Buhari replied: “Where is the money? You must have known that the Federal Government has to help 27 states out of 36 to pay salaries. Nigeria cannot pay salaries; the Federal Government itself has to summon the Governor of Central Bank on how it could pay salaries, not to talk of projects, agreements we signed with other countries on counterpart funding and so on.
Wooing investors, President Buhari assured Indians and the international community of his administration’s commitment to sustaining efforts aimed at making Nigeria an envy of all. He urged them to avail themselves of the conducive environment that would be created for investments to thrive.
Responding to critics of his administration who claim he was too slow in addressing economic and infrastructural challenges facing the country that’s yearning for urgent development, Buhari said “they call me baba go slow, but I will go slow and steady.”
He called on the elite to encourage him to get whoever had compromised his position and the trust given to him. President Buhari told the gathering that he remained resolute in the fight against corruption and would want to be remembered for that when it is all said and done.
His administration has three main focus – security, economy and the fight against corruption. But he has roundly been criticised by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as being selective in the fight.
On whether there will be an extension of a three-month deadline given by his administration to flush out Boko Haram from Nigeria’s North-East, the President said that the target was to get rid of terrorism and not about meeting deadline.
•Adapted from a Saturday Sun report. Photo shows President Buhari.
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