Mon, Sep 25, 2023

Nigeria would have collapsed if not for Buhari's bailout, says Masari

Nigeria would have collapsed if not for Buhari's bailout, says Masari

Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina state, said Nigeria would have collapsed if the federal government had not disbursed the N10 billion bailout and N500 billion Paris-London Club refund to the states in the country.

Masari who spoke to journalists on his achievements in Katsina, chides people who sat at the comfort of their homes and rained insults on President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that his ingenuity to bail out state governments was the brain behind the existence of the country today.

Masari, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, said Katsina is yet to reach the goals he envisaged, inspite of the face-lift the state is experiencing at the moment. He said it was unfortunate that the state was among three most backward states in the country, a situation he credited to poor leadership.

He promised to account for “the first and the last kobo” he receives from the federal government, including allocations and loans received on behalf of the state.

“Tell me, which President has ever done this to salvage the country? I want you to imagine, if this intervention was not there, this country would have collapsed because no state could pay its salaries, no state could honour its obligations.

“In Katsina, the money that we used in most of the projects was from the N10 billion (bailout fund) money we collected for infrastructure development which was given by the President. What President Buhari has done for this country, no President has ever done it.

“When we won election in 2015, state governments across the country were not paying salaries and could not pay. He came out with bailouts for those that have salary arrears to pay, and for those who have pension and gratuity arrears to pay. So, any governor who refused to pay, refused to pay not because he has not collected the money.

“In Katsina, we paid all the retirees, those who retired up to December 2014. We collected N11.86 billion and we paid over N11 billion. What we have in the account is about N22 million now. The local governments consumed most of the money, over N7 billion and the state government about N3 billion. Then we said government is not only about paying salaries.

“So, each state was given N10 billion. In our own case, we earmarked N3 billion for education, N2.5 billion for health, N2.5 billion for water supply and N2 billion for agriculture. And we have a balance of over N2 billion still, from the N10 billion and we have attained the certificate of the works we have given as they come.”

The governor explained that the decayed infrastructure he met in the education system in the state compelled his administration to earmark 20 percent of the year’s budget for education.

“We put priority on the standard of education in the state, and the primary schools will be focused to ensure solid foundation for our children.

“We met a decayed infrastructure in education and health, that is why, we earmarked 20 percent for education in the budget, since my coming into power. The only way to remain relevant is through the standard of education”, he said.

“When the white men came to Katsina in 1912, they met an educational system based on Islamic religious knowledge. That’s why when they thought of building schools, they started with Katsina. That’s why we pride ourselves that the first, second and third generation Nigerian leaders from Northern part of this country were either from Katsina or schooled here in Katsina.

“But unfortunately today, Katsina is among the last three most backward states in the area of education in the country. This is how far we have descended.”





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