Reno Omokri, a media aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, says Nigeria’s ex-leader left foreign reserve at $28.6 billion, dismissing the claim of insufficient funds.
Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, had claimed that the funds left by Jonathan were not sufficient to last the new government for three weeks.
“As former chairman of the governors’ forum, I was told by the security in a meeting chaired by the former President including the former minister of finance that at every point in time, the government must leave money behind in case Nigeria goes to war that would last for six months,” Amaechi had said.
“By the time we came, they didn’t leave money behind that could last us for three weeks. And I was speaking at that time as the chairman of the governors’ forum.”
ARE FOREIGN RESERVES SAVINGS?
Only a fraction of reserves is savings. The naira equivalent of oil receipts are regularly distrusted at the monthly meeting of the federation account allocation committee (FAAC) while the FX is kept in reserves to meet foreign obligations. Reserves are broken into forex reserves, CBN reserves and excess crude account.
Omokri said Amaechi had been showing desperation to be the next All Progressives Congress (APC) vice-presidential candidate, “a situation that has led him to be pouring lies against the Goodluck Jonathan administration”.
“This is exactly what Jonathan left behind on May 29, 2015, that Amaechi said could not sustain Nigeria for three weeks,” he posted on his Instagram page.
“Foreign reserve of $28.6 billion, $2.2 billion in the Excess Crude Account, $5.6 billion Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Limited dividends and over $1 billion investments via the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority.”
Omokri also alleged that Amaechi had a slave mentality which he claimed makes him do anything to please those he described as his slave masters.
“Rotimi Amaechi is just a useless liar, who thinks he can get APC’s vice-presidential slot by attacking former President Jonathan. 2023 is near. The whole of Nigeria will soon see what Buhari will leave behind, apart from N40 trillion debt,” he added.
“Sadly, he has a perpetual problem with self-worth, and Nigerians are cautioned not to take him seriously.”
FOREIGN RESERVES STAND AT $40BN
Foreign (external) reserves also known as foreign exchange reserves are assets held on reserve by a monetary authority (CBN) in foreign currencies.
These reserves are used to back liabilities and influence monetary policies. They include foreign banknotes, deposits, bonds, treasury bills and other foreign government securities.
These assets serve many purposes but are most significantly held to ensure that a government or its agency has backup funds if their national currency rapidly devalues.
According to data from the CBN, Nigeria’s external reserves stood at $40.58 billion as of December 23, 2021.