22 November 2018
Several sources close to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former vice president Atiku Abubakar have disclosed to Naijiant.com that the campaign is facing “cash flow” problems.
This has come as a shock to many Atiku supporters because conventional wisdom in Nigeria holds that he is a billionaire businessman that owns several companies and has oodles of cash from fraudulent endeavours during his time as a senior Customs official and then vice president.
But the sources indicate that Atiku is struggling to fund his presidential run against the bottomless resources of his opponent and incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari. The Atiku campaign with their slogan
#LetsGetNigeriaWorkingAgain are working very hard trying to raise funds from other sources because the money tap is running dry.
The sources put this down to several reasons. Firstly, Atiku’s main source of foreign exchange is INTELS (Integrated and Logistics Services), an oil and gas logistics company that the former vice president set up with Italian Gabriel Volpi in the early 1980s. It grew into a multi-billion naira operation and Atiku admitted four years ago: “Of all the businesses into which I would venture, the most successful and the most lucrative would be a small oil services company I established with an Italian business man in the early 1980s. I met Gabriel Volpi when he was working at Apapa Ports in 1982”.
He has other business ventures like private university and school, but none of these are sources of ready cash. Buhari’s government was aware of how INTELS made Atiku financially formidable and last year cancelled government contracts with the Atiku cash cow, meaning a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Atiku’s situation is made worse following the PDP primaries in which the presidential ticket was available for who could make the most dollars “rain” for delegates. He won that contest at huge cost to his war chest.