Yakubu Gowon, retired general and former military head of state, on Wednesday, said Obafemi Awolowo taught his government to survive without taking loans.He also said budget padding did not take place during his
time in government.
time in government.
Gowon was head of state between 1967 and 1975, while Awolowo was minister of finance from 1967 to 1971.
Speaking with journalists on Wednesday, Gowon also called for the prosecution of those responsible for the padding of the 2016 budget in order to deter others from toeing the same path.
“If that is true. If anybody is doing that (budget padding), the person should be checked and stopped to ensure that such does not occur in the future.
“We didn’t it do it during my time. We had Chief Obafemi Awolowo in charge of our finance during my time and he taught us to survive without borrowing. Such (budget padding) should stop, there is no point doing that.”
Abdulmumin Jibrin, former appropriations committee chairman, last week alleged padding of the 2016 budget.
Jibrin accused Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, Yusuff Lasun, deputy speaker, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, chief whip and Leo Ogor, minority leader – of padding the 2016 budget with N40 billion
While Dogara has denied the allegation and threatened to sue Jibrin if he fails to withdraw his claims, the latter has urged him to proceed to court.
Gowon also called on President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to “do whatever” it can to get Nigeria out of the current economic crisis.
“Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has been telling us what they have been doing to get the economy strong again. She said all will be well by September. Let’s wait till then,” he said.
“I left government a long time ago, so I may not really know what the problem is. The current administration should do whatever they can to solve to economic challenges. They should find a way to restore confidence in the citizens and the nation at large by fixing the economy.”