By Emmanuel Okogba
Jigawa State Governor, Mohammadu Badaru Abubakar said that Nigerians should no longer blame President Muhammadu Buhari ‘s administration for the current scarcity of the foreign exchange, saying that the problem was traceable to the fact that Nigeria ‘is a chronic importer’
He said this while commending the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami on the commissioning of 12 digital projects build by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA and other agencies under the ministry.
He insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari should not be blamed for the hardship in the country and the high cost of food items and other goods in the market, stating that the previous administrations failed to create a buffer for the preservation of naira against dollar, hence the scarcity of dollar in the money market and rising cost of goods.
‘‘In the last five years of the previous administration, oil was averaged at $100 per barrel, our five year probably $50 per barrel on average. At least with half of the resources available to Muhammadu Buhari, we have achieved a lot.
‘‘The ministry of aviation has completed 150 projects in four years and still counting with half of the resources so is the same story in other ministries. Today, we can proudly say, five years of Buhari administration and five years of previous administration if analyzed, I am sure it will be confirmed that we have done well with lesser resources available.
‘‘In trade and investment, we are increasing our non-oil export by the day, a good strategy. And again our Ease of Doing Business, we are improving in the ranking, so many industries are coming up.
In my state alone, we have seen industrial revolution for export substitution. If we take the statistics and compare them with the last five years, I am sure we will see government of President Muhammadu Buhari has done very well.
‘‘The ministry of works is constructing about 500 roads in housing, many projects are ongoing across the country.
‘‘The problem is that there was no import substitution, no clear agenda to be realized to reduce import substitution during the last administration. We kept making money without savings, we relied heavily on importation.
“We blame Buhari but he did not cause drop in oil price. We have to import with dollars because the past leaders have been chronic importers, we have to import everything we need. Not only import, we rely heavily on available few dollars.
‘‘The foreign reserve was 29bn dollars when we came in, we could not dip hand into the reserve. This was the genesis of things being expensive. I do not see where Buhari is responsible. He is not responsible for drop in price of oil, we have to blame past leaders, who know that oil can never be stable.
“They had opportunity to dip hand in the reserve and stabilize our currency but did not save for the future and they have the audacity to shamelessly accuse Buhari for high cost of commodities.
‘‘Any fair minded Nigerian will know that president Buhari has delivered on his mandate and deserve our commendation. We have done wonderfully well and will soon blow our trumpet for people to see.
“Nigerians should come out with the truth and stop listening to propaganda and trace our problems to the roots. He is not the one who killed the rabbit, he was asked to carry the dead rabbit.’