Former Defence minister, General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), yesterday advised the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to investigate President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration over the $60billion debt profile it would bequeath to the country, with nothing to justify it.
Daily Trust Newspaper reports that Danjuma made the call in Takum, Taraba State, during the commissioning and handing over of two bridges he built along Takum-Katsina Ala Road.
The call came days after the Vice President-elect, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has raised concern about the huge debt burden that President Jonathan was bequeathing to Buhari’s government.
Professor Osinbajo, while speaking at a two-day policy dialogue last Wednesday on the implementation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) agenda for change, noted that the country was experiencing its worst moment in history, as a whopping $60billion local and foreign debt was hanging on its neck, while over two-thirds of the states in the country were owing workers’ salaries and the Federal Government was borrowing to fund recurrent expenditure.
He also disclosed that about 110 million Nigerians were wallowing in poverty.
Commenting on Saturday, Danjuma lamented that the outgoing administration had nothing to show for incurring the debt and emphasized that a probe was needed to uncover what happened to the fund.
“It is disheartening to know that the incoming government of Buhari will have to contend with a debt of over $60billion and there is nothing to show for this huge debt,” he said.
“Well, we would know what happened to these monies, because I believe that the Buhari administration has to, and should, in national interest, investigate the administration so that we would know what happened.”
The former minister said he chose to steer clear of politics because “all the political parties are the same [and] very bad.” adding that “I rather steer clear of it. I support anyone who comes to me for money based on what I make of their person irrespective of political affiliations,” he said.
General Danjuma said he constructed the bridges to address the plight of his people and cut the number of deaths and permanent disabilities caused by the replaced dilapidated bridges.
“The project started when I noticed the deplorable state of the bridges and realized that they have become deathtraps and a major cause of serious disabilities in the society over the years. I was determined that something has to be done and immediately initiated the project.
“Being aware that this is a federal road, I sought and obtained permission from Works Ministry and the work commenced. We worked closely with the ministry and other relevant bodies and today, the challenges are over and I’m glad this is over,” Danjuma stated.
Danjuma who regretted that the road has not been given any serious attention since the Civil War, called on the minister to award the contract for the building of the road to a competent civil engineering company, not Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), noting that the contract supposedly awarded for the construction of the road over a year ago had been ignored completely to the detriment of the people.