Buhari Vows to Restore Nigeria’s Financial “Sanity”, and says the Next Three Months will be Hard

* Nigerian states $3.3 billion in debt
* President vows to recover stolen billions
Reuters – Nigeria’s president vowed on Tuesday to recover billions of dollars allegedly stolen by officials and restore financial “sanity”, accusing previous governments in Africa’s biggest economy of throwing the rulebooks “to the dogs”.
Muhammadu Buhari’s strong words came after a meeting with the governors of Nigeria’s states, in which they said they were 658 billion naira ($3.3 billion) in debt and needed federal government support to offset a funding crisis.
Zamfara state governor Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar said the governors had suggested three ways out: the government could refund money spent on federal projects such as roads, banks could extend existing loans to up to 20 years, or the government could share out oil revenues usually saved in the so-called Excess Crude Account (ECA).
The president, who took office last month after defeating Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria’s first transfer of power through the ballot box, vowed to recover billions allegedly stolen by public officials.
“There are financial and administrative instructions in every government parastatal and agency. But all these were thrown to the dogs,” Buhari said in a statement after meeting the governors in the capital Abuja.
“The next three months may be hard but billions of dollars can be recovered, and we will do our best,” he said. “We will restore sanity to the system.”