FG not responsible for Nigeria’s woes – El-Rufai, Udoma
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, said this while answering reporters’ questions. His position was corroborated by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai.
Udoma said, “We did not create and are not responsible for the current economic situation we find ourselves. We are actually a rescue team, a team working on rescuing Nigeria from the position we find ourselves in.
Under Pres. Buhari, we are determined to take Nigeria out of the situation. The situation started long before we came. As you know, oil price started falling from 2014 when it was about $110 and by January this year, it was below $30.
Unfortunately, they did not save. None of us here now was there but we are not going to spend our time looking backwards, we are determined to change things in this country.
We are determined to take Nigeria from a consuming nation to a producing nation. That is why we are developing the economy recovery and growth plan and that is our focus. We are committed to success.”
Corroborating the minister’s position, El-Rufai said: “When people say that this administration has impoverished them, they are not being charitable because I have said we inherited a governmental structure that was based on the assumption that the price of oil will remain $100 per barrel.
By the time we took over, prices reduced to as low as $26 per barrel. 80% of government revenue depends on the price of oil and the quantity of oil sold. You must expect a cut in your consumption if the price collapses.
If in your own household, your salary is slashed by 80%, what will you do? Secondly, we were producing over 2 million barrels of oil per day but because of the situation in the Niger Delta, we are now producing about 1.1million barrels per day.
It is therefore inevitable that there will be cut and pain. But to say that it is government that is doing it without referring to the cause is not fair. When I left government as minister in 2007, we left $40bn in reserves and $27bn in the Excess Crude Account, that was what we handed over to Yar’Adua, but it was wasted.”