Nigeria’s earnings from oil production and sales in the 27 months President Muhammadu Buhari has been in office is far less than what the previous government led by ex-president Goodluck Jonathan earned in one year, Daily Sun can authoritatively reveal.
Since the Buhari government came to power, oil price has been in the all-time low, to the extent that a barrel of oil once sold for $27. Previous oil price peaked at $120 per barrel once, during the Jonathan’s government.
According to figures from the Organisation of Oil Producing Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Nigeria’s oil earnings since 2010 till date, the Buhari government has raked in $58 billion since coming to office.
A breakdown of the oil revenue by the Buhari government showed that between June and December 2015, the government earned $16 billion. In 2016, the Buhari government earned $26 billion, while it has raked in $16 billion this year, between January and July. The statistics showed that the Jonathan government earned a total of $453.5 billion between 2010 and 2015.
A breakdown of the Jonathan government’s earning showed that $70.7 billion was earned in 2010, $100.1 billion in 2011 and $96.9 billion in 2012.
Also, the Jonathan government earned $86.9 billion in 2013, $77.9 billion in 2014 and $21 billion between January and May 2015.
Meanwhile, the Buhari government has received kudos from the European Union (EU) and the United States government over its prudence in managing scarce resources.
According to EU officials, who pleaded anonymity, the Buhari government has shown responsibility in managing funds, in the face of low revenue.
The official said it was commendable that even when Nigeria’s revenue has nose-dived, the Buhari government has been able to meet its obligations.
“The EU is impressed that the Nigerian government has been afloat despite the drop in oil earning. From what we gathered, the government has been meeting its obligations. This is commendable,” he said.
When reminded that the Federal Government had borrowed to finance the budget, he said this was acceptable, as no country would survive without borrowing. He said as long as there was conscious effort to fight corruption, whatever money borrowed will be used for the purpose it was meant.
“There is no problem about borrowing, as long as the money is used for the stated purpose. We have seen this in Nigeria under the current government. This is good development,” the EU official said.
On the part of the United States, the country’s official said the Nigerian government had shown fiscal responsibility.
According to a top US official, who would not want to be mentioned, for a government that is not earning much money to be running shows the ingenuity in economic management.
He said that the Buhari government has shown determination to ensure that government revenue was not frittered away by corrupt officials, adding: “This is the greatest plus for the Nigerian government.”
The US officials said if the Buhari government could keep afloat in economic distress, it means that the government would do more for the country if the economic were buoyant.
In another development, the Presidency has said that the President Buhari administration was handed an economy ravaged by years of mismanagement and corruption.
In a statement, Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, while reacting to statements credited to former president Jonathan and Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the Caretaker Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said: “Under the previous administration, there was money but now things are very hard.”
The presidential aide added: “It is understandable that Dr. Jonathan kept his comments short, because a cursory look at any sector clearly indicated that he and his government presided over the most monumental and tragic economic mismanagement recorded in our national history.