A think-tank of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), under the aegis of APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign (APC-LAC), said the era of frosty relationship between President and state governors has ended under President Muhammadu Buhari.
The APC group said the Buhari’s administration had rather strengthened national and sub-national governments’ relations.
In a statement made available to newsmen Tuesday in Abuja and signed by a former APC national publicity secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu; a youth representative in the APC Caretaker Committee, Barr. Ismaeel Ahmed; Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman; and presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi, said: “There is no doubt that President Buhari has set a new standard for national-subnational governments relations.
“He has put a stop to toxic actions and attitudes of the past, and restored normalcy, and we expect that all succeeding administrations will toe his path and ensure that Nigeria never returns to the dark days of unnecessary animosity and poisonous relations with elected governors.
“All of the administration’s policies and programmes have been made available for all state governments to take advantage of, and benefit from, for the benefit of all of the people of Nigeria.
“Nigerians could recall the extent to which the years prior to 2015 were marked by unnecessary and debilitating tensions between national and subnational governments in Nigeria, often on the basis of personal and partisan differences between senior officials,” they said.
Listing how state governments have been benefiting from the central government, the statement said: “the bailout programs of the federal government – including more than 600 billion Naira in Budget Support, and 575 billion Naira in commercial loans restructuring – that helped the States through the recession of 2016 and its immediate aftermath, were extended to all interested States in the country irrespective of partisan differences.
“The President has approved trillions of Naira in vital Refunds to State Governments, since 2015. These include more than $5 Billion in Paris Club Refunds, owed since 2006, and 700 Billion Naira in Refunds for construction work carried out by State Governments on Federal roads. In the case of the latter, the highest benefiting State was Rivers State, receiving more than 10% of the entire amount disbursed to all the States. The State Government has since acknowledged receipt of the funds. That these actions can now be taken for granted demonstrate just how much President Buhari has done to restore normalcy to the dealings between the tiers of Government. Governors have often testified to the support they have received from the President and his administration, and his willingness to listen to them and find ways to help them achieve their governance agendas for their States.
“Every State in Nigeria has benefited from the landmark programmes of the APC-led Federal Government, in infrastructure, social investment, agriculture and other areas. The President’s only concern is the welfare of the people of Nigeria, and he will wholeheartedly support any and all efforts to move the country forward.”