Ahead of the May 29 hand over date, the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said on Saturday that the Buhari administration would require about N4.1 Trillion for sundry expenses, including oil subsidy payment, arrears of salaries at federal and state levels and debt servicing.
Oyegun, who made this known at a two-day retreat for APC Senators-elect in Abuja, also informed the lawmakers that in the course of their duty, they may be called upon at short notice to pass important bills in the interest of the nation.
According to him, there is no shying away from the truth that the days ahead are going to be tough.
Oyegun said, “While I congratulate all of you on your elections, I must quickly add that I don’t envy you. This is because you are being called to service at one of the most challenging periods in the history of our nation”.
While warning that the period the nation is currently passing through is not an easy one, the national chairman said an unparalleled commitment, uncommon patriotism, unprecedented hard work and indeed a reservoir of the innermost strength will be required to overcome the challenges ahead.
“Make no mistake about it, the days ahead will be tough, and this is not crying wolf. From the first day of this government, a total of 4.1 trillion Naira will be required for sundry expenses, including oil subsidy payment, arrears of salaries at federal and state levels and debt servicing, just to mention a few.
“Put this against the background of the falling oil prices, the unprecedented 60-billion-dollar debt which the outgoing government has left for the incoming one, the largely depleted Excess Crude Account (ECA), the 60 billion dollars that have been lost in the last four years to crude oil theft (and which are perhaps still being lost as we speak), the need to rapidly create jobs for our teeming army of unemployed youths, enhance the security of the citizenry and improve the economy, and you will begin to understand the enormity of the challenges ahead.
“This is not a lamentation forum, but still, we must tell ourselves the truth about the state of the nation, and the expectations of our people. In fact, to a number of our compatriots, by May 30th, a day after the swearing in of our President-elect, all the streets in Nigeria will be air conditioned while electricity will become stable and fuel scarcity will be a thing of the past.
“Yes, we will get there, but it won’t happen overnight. You, our Senators-elect, will be called upon to take extraordinary actions to address the extraordinary challenges that confront our nation”, Oyegun stated.