The former president, who spoke in an interview with Bloomberg Tv on Monday, June 6, said Nigeria’s economy somehow depends on crude oil.
He identified the drop in crude oil prices as the reason for Nigeria’s present economic predicament.
“The economy of Nigeria somehow depends on oil. At anytime the price of oil drops, it affects the economy significantly.
“Even though in terms of contribution to the GDP, the oil sector contributed about %15, but in terms of government revenue, oil sector contributed %80. So at any time the oil prices come down, and especially now that even the production is coming down because of the activities within the Niger Delta, definitely it affects the country.
“This is not the first time government is experiencing drop in oil prices. Even before I left office, oil prices started coming down.
Responding to a question about the drastic drop in the Excess Crude Account from $20 billion to $2 billion before leaving office, Jonathan said:
“There is a lot of misconception about the excess crude account. And a number of people felt that the excess crude account is a reserve fund for a rainy day. Yes, to some extent, and then also is a part of our own reserves.
“When I was there, we tried to make a special fund, what we called the Sovereign Wealth Fund, so that it would not be easy for you to take.”
I Didn’t Leave Empty Treasury
Jonathan further explained that, any time crude oil prices fall, it significantly affects the country’s economy.
The former President, pointed that whenever revenues dropped during his tenure as president, the governors would insist that a part of the excess crude account should be brought for sharing.
Former President Goodluck also dismissed the allegation that he left an empty treasury for the present administration saying that if he did, the Buhari administration would not have had the funds it used to bail out states.