President Muhammadu Buhari has apologised for dissolving governing councils of universities along with the boards of parastatal agencies.
Mr. Buhari offered the apology during the National Executive Council meeting of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja on Thursday.
He said: ”We gave a blanket order which we had to rescind when we said all boards are suspended or dissolved.
”We had to go back and lick our vomit in terms of universities councils because we found out that according to their laws, they cannot choose vice chancellors unless the councils sit and interview candidates who want to be VCs.
”So, there is nothing wrong in saying sorry and going back on your decision. So, we said sorry and allow all the universities to continue with their councils.
“So, please, try to bear with us as we reflect on where we found ourselves.”
Mr. Buhari said the government had made progress in security as 14 out of the 774 local governments seized by insurgents had been recaptured.
He said his government had been able to recover more than three trillion naira by insisting on the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
”The policy we are trying to implement is TSA when we insist that we have to know what comes in and what goes out for us to make a comprehensive amendment to the economy.
”If you go and see the Central Bank Governor, he will tell you that in the TSA, we have more than N3 trillion. Where would this money have been if TSA was not in vogue?
”I was made to understand that vouchers would have quickly been raised towards the end of the financial year and checks made whether they are going into projects or private pockets, nobody can prove it to you.
”But that money is there, it is identified, if is quantified and when the budget comes back eventually, the Ministry of Finance will see how to allocate it to the rest of the country”, he said.
Buhari also said that he had tried to ensure that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation be reorganised, so as to know how much of crude is taken, sold and to which account the money was going.
”I tell you that up to the time we came, if anybody told you that he knows how much of crude exchanges hands either on the high sea or reaching their destination and the accounts the money goes into, that person is not telling you the truth.
”We are getting the cooperation of countries that had received this crude. But we have to be sure of the facts in our hands before we start prosecution so that Nigerians will believe what we have been telling them.
”I was telling a British team that came to supervise the training team they sent, that when I was in uniform, we took the perceived corrupt ones and put them in safe custody and quietly told them they were guilty until they can prove themselves innocent.
”But now, under multiparty democratic system, I see some of them ride Rolls Royce, some of them have built estates here, but they are innocent until we can prove them guilty.
“This situation is true and you don’t need to stretch your imagination to find out.
“If you can find out, you discover that a level eight officer has five houses, while you, as a Permanent Secretary or Commissioner is still living in a rented house.
“That is the credible thing to do now. We have to get credible evidence to carry our successful prosecution and get judgment from the judiciary.
”Effort is being made to give a list of recoveries in whatever currencies so far so that Nigerians will know that it is not all about long stories”, he said.
He urged APC members to continue to make sacrifices, adding that when he came on board, he had to cut down on cost by reducing the 42 ministries to 24. (NAN)