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Blaming the Current Administration for Poverty in Nigeria is Unfair – Gov. El-Rufai

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Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna on Thursday described as uncharitable, the criticisms against the Buhari administration concerning the impoverishment of the citizens.

The governor said this at the end of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“When people say that this administration has impoverished them; I think they are not being charitable.

Because I have said that we inherited a governmental structure at state and federal levels built around the assumption that price of oil will remain at $100 per barrel.

By the time we took over, prices dipped to as low as $26 per barrel.

Now when 80 per cent of government revenues depend on the price of oil and the quantity of oil you sell (reduces) you must expect a cut in your consumption if the price collapses.

If in your own household your salary is slashed by 80 per cent, what do you do? There is painful adjustment in the funding.

You have to seek your family and explain to them that this is what is happening, your salary has been slashed by 80 per cent so rice is off the table and it is now ‘garri’ and so on.

This is what Nigeria is going through. Essentially, our revenues have collapsed by about 40 per cent to 60 per cent if you compare it with, say, 2014.

This collapse happened because the price of oil has moved from a high of $140 a barrel around 2013 to a low of $26 per barrel in February 2016.

Secondly, we were producing over two million barrels of oil per day because of vandalism in the Delta, production went to as low as 1.1 million barrels per day,” the governor said.

The governor noted that the production was back a bit (to 1.8 million barrels per day), but noted that when the production was little very little money was coming in to the government.

He said it was inevitable that there would be cuts and pain adding that to blame the government for the economic problem was unfair.

The governor said that when he left office as FCT minister, in 2007, the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo handed over $40 billion in reserve and  $27 billion in Excess Crude Account.

“That is what we handed over to Yar’adua (late Umaru). Coming back as Gov. of Kaduna there is only $2.1 bn in excess crude account and when we left office the price of oil was $75 per barrel,’’ he said.

The governor said that those who came into office blew the savings, earned $300 billion and spent it, borrowed over $60 billion in the period and spent all.

“It is up to President Buhari to clear that mess,’’ he added.

He said it was unfair that the critics were not referring to the causes of the present predicaments and urged informed people to continue to address the question.

He said the country was paying the price of mismanagement of the past, adding that without diversification the problem would be more.

The governor also defended the government’s economic team adding that the economic team of the administration was well constituted.

According to him the economic team has both policy level meeting and a technical level teams.

He said that the difference between Obasanjo’s economic team and Buhari’s team was that the former was headed by the president while the latter was headed by the Vice President.

“What you need at the policy level is basic understanding, management skills and leadership.

The VP is exposed, educated and enlightened enough to say yes or no if given many policy options.

The technical people are there to give you the technical input and the VP was the one selected and he has to make that policy decision.

You cannot have an unelected economist deciding policy for the country because there has to be accountability.

But there is nowhere in the world where heading the economic team is economist because the technical people are there to give you the technical input,’’ he added.

The Minister of National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, also explained that the economic team consisted of persons with political responsibility for the ultimate policy decisions, adding that the technical work was done by other people in various organs of government.

According to Udoma, the administration has consulted with economists from Nigeria while the political decision is taken by the elected officials who are politically accountable.

On the poor economy, he said the administration was not to blame.

“We are not responsible for the economic situation; we are a rescue team, and under President Buhari we are determined to take Nigeria out of the situation,’’ he added.

13 Comments

  1. esther

    December 16, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Mr. Kaduna gov what would you have said! Who else should we blame for the current hardship in this country. My consolation is that man is not God.

  2. Rosey

    December 16, 2016 at 8:17 am

    So who should we blame?

    • nnenne

      December 17, 2016 at 12:31 am

      My dear Rosey…
      Blame me or blame ordinary Nigerian citizens. .Oh yes!
      El Rufai and his fellow politicians are very, very innocent!

  3. keke driver

    December 16, 2016 at 8:38 am

    eesir you’re a fool.

  4. Nwaigwe

    December 16, 2016 at 9:09 am

    This sickle cell anemic gov. Called el-rufai has never failed to prove himself as an aboki he is. He thinks that a Fulani man becoming a president is now a guaranty to see every person as a cow.

  5. Tosin

    December 16, 2016 at 9:24 am

    hissss, olodocracy,
    2 years down, 2 to go.

  6. Truth-be-told

    December 16, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Please remain quiet if what you have to say will not improve the silence…

  7. Mo'Diva

    December 16, 2016 at 9:56 am

    So who are we to hold to ransom???

  8. NG

    December 16, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Mr Gov, no one is throwing blames carelessly, please. The blame game, it is one, has basis in facts. Great missteps by the president particularly that got us deeper into the woods.
    Imagine a man that fought a very divisive campaign in the country and was so dense not to understand when healing should begin to enable the aggregation of strengths for national development by all the component parts of the whole called Nigeria. What did we see? Stupid childish vengeful statements of looking out for those who voted for him against the nay Sayers, but with resources majorly from the latter’s backyard. Niger Delta resurgence was the result and loss of revenue natural

    Imagine all the goodwill the president frittered away! Things were bad when he came on board, ok, but the media blitz- factual and otherwise- that got him elected had sold things to the local and international business and political world about his capabilities that he miserably exposed as false with his Achilles heels popping out through myopic and emotional interference in economic affairs beyond his knowledge. The result was that businesses took flight and their capital followed in hot pursuit, all out of our shores. At the end of the day, decisions like exchange rate adjustments still happened, but after terrible consequences due to his equivocations.

    Do you want to talk about the indecisiveness shown in appointing the executive? Do you want to talk about running down the country and her people as rogues?

    Do you want to talk about undermining the judiciary by letting the world know you are a kangaroo nation where the president decides who to allow to go on bail granted by the courts? Do you know the consequence of telling the international community that your laws are subject to the whims and caprices of your president?

    Do you know the international community hear that your corruption fight is a hoax of a type because it targets your political opponents? Do you think the international community is not hearing that your president does not have a WAEC certificate?

    Do you think the international community is not inundated by all the agitations from the south east which suggests to them that there is instability of sorts in the country and long-term investment -for some without stomach for it- may be a great risk?

    Let us leave things there Mr. Gov. But maybe you can take a walk to the USA post 2008 election to see what time Obama spent blaming Bush on affairs as he met them.
    Mtcheew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. GANNY OGUNSHAKIN

    December 16, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Governor Nasir. I want you to listen very carefully. The Buhari administration certainly did not cause porverty in Nigeria. But some of the decisions his economic team made when he assumed office definitely contributed to it. You may agree or disagree with me that’s exactly what it. Is. As someone who knows you from your days as the Teritorial manager (Nitel) at Bank road Ikoyi, Lagos. We have enough blame to pass arround here between President Badluck Jonathan and President Buhari’s administration. Let’s call a spade a spade. A word is enough for the wise. I’m just saying.

  10. NG

    December 16, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Just had to walk back and share this WhatsApp post (unverified by me but prove it false if u can) of what was handed over to Buhari on taking over power:
    -$30bln foreign reserves
    -$2.5bln in Sovereign Wealth Fund
    -$1.4bln in the ECA
    -$4.65bln back taxes from NLNG
    -Approved budget of N4.5trl (financing? Well…)
    Collected within a year:
    $2.7bln from IRS in 8 mths
    $2.1bln World Bank loan
    $850mln grants from UK, US
    N1.5trn from oil subsidy
    oil sales, JV remits, royalties, receipts from govt agencies, STA, recovered monies etc, etc

    What have you as a person reading this seen as works in your area by the govt nearing 2yrs in office? Roads? Electricity? Jobs? lost millions and ballooned the bureaucracy by 200,000 and clapping about it. Although all the goodies may actually be on ground in the SW and the north, the people that voted for the president…the money coming from the neglected regions.

    What is the real problem here? Maybe all-round incompetence.

  11. Moniker

    December 16, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Irresponsibility of the highest order. Blame GEJ all you want. The buck stops on your table, the earlier you start to work, the better. You all wanted power, here you go. No excuses. Accidental servant. Shiorrr

  12. tunmi

    December 16, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    But did your salary decrease? Did your allowances decrease??

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