Buhari’s CHOGM trip a colossal waste, says PDP
Party, govt disagree over ministers’ absence at U.S. investors’ meeting
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s attendance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the United Kingdom (UK) as a colossal waste.It, therefore, called on the Presidency to immediately make public the cost of this trip on the national coffers.
In a statement yesterday signed by the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said: “Nigerians are not surprised that the President returned last night empty handed and with no tangible dividend, a development which is the direct consequence of his negative comments about Nigerians and his presentation of false performance indices to his hosts.
In another development, the PDP has challenged Buhari to give account of his ministers and other government officials who abandoned their scheduled meeting with investors in the United States (U.S.) to “gallivant” in that country.
The party alleged that “the ministers abandoned the foreign investors at the time Nigerians were looking up to them to negotiate deals and bring in investments into the country.”Ologbondiyan added: “This embarrassing development is indeed a clear reflection of the recklessness and laissez-faire attitude of the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration towards governance, resulting in the biting economic recession and others woes plaguing our nation under President Buhari’s watch.
“It is now clear to Nigerians why the APC has not been able to attract any meaningful foreign direct investment to the country in the last three years.“How can APC government officials sent to attend investors’ meetings abandon their duties and engage in personal leisure abroad?”
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, have explained that there was no way they could have attended the Nigeria-U.S. Investment Summit in Washington DC, as they were both attending the committee meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors at the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank Group.
Besides, the duo said they had no prior knowledge of the summit until they got to Washington and discovered the time scheduled for the summit clashed with the IMFC, which was their primary assignment for coming to the U.S. capital.The duo, who spoke at a press conference to mark the end of the meetings yesterday, also used the opportunity to apologise for any negative impression created in the mind of the prospective investors regarding their absence.
Adeosun said: “I attended the IMFC, which is the highest decision-making body of the IMF, and I represent 23 African countries in that role. So, one of the things I have to do is to issue a statement on behalf of those 23, which includes most of the Anglophone countries like South Africa, Mozambique and so on. So, my primary role here as well as wearing the Nigerian hat, is to represent the 23 African countries.
On his part, Emefiele noted: “For the Minister of Finance and for me, being the Governor of the CBN, what takes pre-eminence is the meetings in the IMF as well as the meeting at the World Bank. When I arrived in Washington, the officials of the embassy spoke with me that there was going to be a U.S.-Nigeria summit, and I said I would check my schedule because I wasn’t consulted when this summit was being organised.”
“What one would have expected is that they would have checked my schedule and that of the financial minister if they thought that our presence at the summit was very necessary.”
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