By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA—OUSTED Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmunin Jibrin, yesterday tackled Senator Dino Melaye over his comment that the Federal Government was to be blamed for Nigeria’s economic woes.
Melaye had on Sunday in an interview, called for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic experts. But in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, Jibrin faulted Melaye, saying Buhari was not the cause of Nigeria’s economic woes.
In the statement Jibrin said: “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 Committees on Finance and 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 N950.32 billion 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. Buhari was not the President then.”