President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said he contemplated running away from office shortly after he was inaugurated as Nigeria’s president on May 29, 2015.
He said the ongoing economic crisis has made him feel as though he is suffering the consequences of someone else’s transgressions.
The lamentations according to Premium Times, were part of the president’s address to members of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies who visited him in the State House Thursday afternoon.
Actually, I felt like absconding,Because 27 out of 36 states in Nigeria cannot pay salaries… I asked if there was any savings and I was told there was no savings. I asked what they did on agriculture, power, rails and roads. There was nothing.
Mr. Buhari said he also discovered that Nigeria had no strategic highways and the available ones were in a terrible state.
He also said even though cases of sabotage are frequently recorded in the power distribution, that still failed to explain why Nigerians are still grappling with poor electricity supply.
Speaking further, he said his government has been rendered largely helpless in the face of the economic crisis because crude oil no longer sells at high prices as he had hoped.
Between 1999 and 2015, the average cost of each Nigerian barrel of oil was $100 per barrel. When we came it fell to less $30 per barrel and is now hovering between $40 and $50.
The president said officials also told him that the government was spending heavily to import fuel and food items, an excuse he said he found ridiculous since Nigerians hardly consume imported staple.
I was told the money was used to import food and fuel. I didn’t believe the answer and I still do not believe it.
Up till now, a substantial number of people in the East eat garri and groundnut; in the West they eat pounded yam, cassava, vegetables; in the North, they eat tuwo which is made from any of the grains: millet, sorghum.
They eat it in the night and warm it in the morning and eat it and take fura in the afternoon. How many of those people can afford foreign food?
Mr. Buhari also condemned the fuel subsidy regime of his predecessors, saying it served as a conduit which the Nigerian elite exploited to swindle the poor masses.
Mr. Buhari defeated incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in a keently-contested election in March 2015.He has repeatedly blamed the former government for his administration’s woes.
Mr. Buhari’s renewed blame game came days after his party accepted responsibility for the economic crisis and promised to desist from further blaming the past.
The Governor of Imo State and chairman of APC Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha, said since their party has been in power for well over a year, it was time they more forward and began proffering solutions to the country’s multi-faceted crisis.
We must take responsibility and we must never shift the responsibility to anybody,” Mr. Okorocha said. “We are responsible for everything happening in Nigeria.
The good, the bad, the ugly but we are promising Nigerians that we shall fix it.
// Premium Times