President Muhammadu Buhari has dubbed Rivers State as Nigeria’s most deadly state, even as he offered some apologies for the ill-tempered elections conducted under his watch in Kogi, Bayelsa and Rivers. Speaking at the first National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the APC, in Abuja this year, he said the administration had so far raked N3trillion into the Treasury Single Account, TSA.
The president, who spoke amid a tight security cordon mounted at the APC national secretariat, urged party supporters to stay the course, saying that progress was being made on all fronts, from the economy to the security situation in the country.
Buhari nevertheless charged Nigerians to rise to the situation as he particularly charged militants in the Niger Delta that continuous sabotage of oil facilities was doing the people more harm than good.
The president, who appealed for understanding from party members also dismissed allegations from critics that he had turned a globetrotter.
On conflicting signals from Niger Delta militants, the president said: “Some have said they are ready to drop their arms and join the rest of the nation to build it. But part of them are still sabotaging installations which is making investments in that lucrative area of Nigeria difficult because nobody will submit his riches to financial institutions, get money only to suffer huge loss.
“So, the environment for investment is being sabotaged by ourselves, Nigerians. We are doing our best with the military by trying to persuade them to join the rest of the country because in unity lies our strength.”
One of the measures Mr President said has helped Nigeria was his decision to implement the TSA.
He said: “The Central Bank Governor, will tell you that in the TSA, we have more than N3 trillion. Where would this money have been if TSA was not in vogue? I was made to understand that vouchers would have quickly been raised towards the end of the financial year and cheques made.
“Whether they are going into projects or private pockets, nobody can prove it to you. But that money is there, it is identified, it is quantified and when the budget comes back eventually, the Ministry of Finance will see how to allocate it to the rest of the country.”