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President Buhari is Not to Blame for Economic Woes – Hon. Jibrin tells Senator Melaye

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Abdulmumin Jibrin

Abdulmumin Jibrin

The former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, in response to Senator Dino Melaye‘s call for the sack of Finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, Budget minister, Udoma Udo Udoma, and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is not to blame for the economic crises in the country.

He wrote on his Facebook Page:

I’m compelled to say a few words on the attempt by some people to apportion blame on President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of the economy and also share my view on the call by Senator Dino Malaye on the President to sack some ministers and Central Bank Governor as the solution to the problem.

As a former Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, and until recently Appropriation, I am in a good position to contribute and proffer solutions to the problem.

Let me state very categorically that the President is not to blame on the state of our economy today. It is unfair and very wicked to push such blame on a man who just came on board barely a year ago. Not even a magician can turn around the economy within a period of one year. The biggest spending in our economy, that is the budget, hasn’t even run a full course of one year. Yet, some people want to crucify President Buhari. Haba! Let’s face reality!

We all know how badly oil price has gone, a situation that adversely affected our foreign reserves and mounted pressure on the naira. No matter what approach we adopt to manage and deal with the situation, recovery will be slow. It is not President Buhari’s fault. Everyone seems to forget when the whole country was supporting more spending as against saving. But here we are today, soaked in the rainy day. President Buhari should not be used as anybody’s scape goat!

The recurrent expenditure, which has escalated and constituted a huge burden on our yearly budget rose from N950.32billion in 2006 to N1.372.20 trillion in 2008 and N2.593.62 trillion in 2015. This was not created by President Buhari.

Similarly, the total cash call (oil production cost) which rose from about N200 billion in 2006 to about N1.2 trillion in 2015 was not a creation of President Buhari. The cash call has remained another tale of burden on our yearly budget. Statutory transfers including that of the NASS are not left behind. Statutory transfers rose from just about N100 billion in 2006 to N375.62 billion in 2015. President Buhari was not the President then.

Debt servicing also rose from about N300 billion in 2006 to N953.62 billion in 2015. These expenditures have over the years constrained the budget and made it difficult to channel sufficient funds towards productive sectors that can sufficiently grow the economy. Domestic borrowing also skyrocketed during this period and created devastating consequences on the economy.

Government at that time continued to mop up money from commercial banks at a rate considered one of the highest in the world, while the real sector is left with nothing. And even when they were able to access funds, it came with an unbearable interest rate. President Buhari met this situation on ground. He did not create it, but is doing his very best to take us out of the economic quagmire. We should all support him.

On the call by Sen. Melaye on Mr. President to sack some ministers, I disagree with that proposition. Nigerians are of the habit of asking for the sack or removal of public officers, often for sentimental reasons, envy or simply for an opportunity to join the fray. In my assessment, I have not seen any member of the President’s cabinet today — from SGF, HOS to ministers — that is not good enough to hold the office. At worse, the President may wish to reshuffle a couple of or more ministers based on their strength and weaknesses for better service delivery.

A minister doesn’t have to know everything. A minister has an ample latitude to draw knowledge from the MDAs staff or within the larger society to achieve result in his ministry. I believe that most of the present cabinet ministers can source information or knowledge from these reservoir when the need arises. I have worked very closely with most of them and I am convinced that they have proved their mettle despite managing a very difficult situation that they did not create.

I am sure nobody can question the competence of Udoma Udoma. Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun is also doing her best, and having worked with her, I am convinced she has all it takes to turn around the economy. The Central Bank Governor is managing the most challenging period the apex bank has ever witnessed. I think the president has worked with this team for about a year. His cabinet team understands him better and vice-versa.

I believe if they stay focused and refuse to be distracted, we shall soon start seeing the dividends. The President must not fall for the trap of people trying to distort the progress made so far. Whoever he appoints again, the call for sack will never stop.

I am therefore calling on my colleague, brother and friend, Senator Dino Malaye that we should rather look inward and address our own contribution to this problem as lawmakers. We can start by addressing the budget and other monumental fraud under the watch of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, a systemic corruption that affected and continued to derail the economy of our dear country. That is the appropriate place to start. Remember, charity begins at home!

22 Comments

  1. keke driver

    September 6, 2016 at 11:54 am

    ode, i’m to blame bah?

    • Uberhaute looks

      September 6, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      The gods are to blame ni jare. This is what too much Konja does to the brain. When Jona was there, who were you all blaming? Oshisco. Karma is seriously firing you

    • fleur

      September 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      My brother jibrin, i concur with you. Afterall, you became a mega millionaire in the Senate long before buhari arrived.

  2. Prince

    September 6, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    I used to think this dude has small sense but for where. nah the same boat carry dem come abuja (In Kanye’s voice)

  3. Darius

    September 6, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    The gods are not to blame either.

  4. Oscar

    September 6, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Your comment is even beneath your keke driver status!

  5. Call me Nelly

    September 6, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    like seriously this northern cow of a senator is a dumb ass. Y would you not defend d world’s dumbest and clueles president, because he placed u in that position u know too well u are not fit to be there. At d mention of mama mmadu Buhari ibido na ezuzu because u see him as ur god. Tell me who else to blame scallywag Jibrin

  6. Okechukwu Ofili

    September 6, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I am really beginning to get worried that this government is more out of touch than the last. Till today they still don’t want to take responsibility for the Economy. This is very sad.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      September 6, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      As in, no willingness to drive or accept responsibility for anything. Any one single thing concerning a country they’ve been given charge of.

      If these were the actions of an actual company board they would have been sacked within months of taking their positions.

    • nene+

      September 6, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      Indeed I won’t blame Buhari. I blame people who elected him!

  7. GY ONLINE NG

    September 6, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Who Should We Blame them?

  8. tunmi

    September 6, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Again, it’s not the people who are rotated every 2 or 4 years, but those who have been in since forever.

  9. Dan Marayan jos

    September 6, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Abdul Fibrin should just SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!! He’s trying to get into good books, but It’s too late. His quest for relevance and some sort of fame is appalling. A Young Man that was strategically place couldn’t make any difference, only to be wailing like a baby when the same system ejected him. Boy BYE!

    • Peaches77

      September 6, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Absolutely!

  10. kim jay

    September 6, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    bn, where is my comments?? I’m so angry now ooo

  11. nene

    September 6, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    but he’s saying the truth. the system was destroyed before he came, he just came to expose it. but now we need him to “save us” like he promised. every past ruler is to be blamed starting from IBB, he started the bullshit going in in this country today. i think OBJ would’ve corrected the economy if allowed a third time (he was ready for war to fish out all the corrupt people and his enemies). That’s the best president we’ve had so far.

    • The Real Oma

      September 6, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      Sweetheart, if the past leaders are to blame that automatically also includes Buhari, you know?

    • lacey

      September 7, 2016 at 12:02 am

      @Nene you are so right! over 30 years decadence! until the plumber, capenter, mechanic and the inaverage Nigerian instills !

    • lacey

      September 7, 2016 at 12:29 am

      continuation from; instills Honesty and Integrity into their way of life,then we can eradicate corruption from the grassroot!

  12. lacey

    September 6, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    Is not Dino’s fault na! his ilks should be in prison not in the corridor of power! Is he as competent as the people he named? I blame Buhari for allowing them receive the humongous salaries that the Senate and House of Reps has used to plunge Nigeria into this condition! bloody rogues in position!I will continue to say to the youths in Nigeria should get ready to get this lunatics out of leadership, even if we do not go ahead to win , we must start representing ourselves and get all bloody sychophants from any position that is sensitive to Nigeria’s greatness!

  13. Tosin

    September 7, 2016 at 7:40 am

    People are hungry o, and we don’t see any solutions. People are starving, people like you.

  14. artklub

    September 7, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Its Buhari’s fault that the economy has spiraled out of control. Why? Because out of spite and fear he refused to hire the best and most experienced team to his cabinet. If he did get the best technocrats on board then we would probably have innovative solutions to our problems and would have more confidence in his administration even during this turbulence. Nobody has confidence in this man.

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