Over four years after taking over the affairs of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari is still blaming the past administrations for the country’s economic troubles.
Before his emergence, the country had been under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s administration since its return to Democracy in 1999. PDP’s Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan have all taken charge between 1999 and 2015.
Buhari, who made this complain while delivering his speech on the occasion of Nigeria’s 59th Independence Day on Tuesday morning, stressed that: “This Administration inherited a skewed economy, where the oil sector comprised only 8% of Gross Domestic Product but contributed 70% of government revenue and 90% foreign exchange earnings over the years. “Past periods of relatively high economic growth were driven by our reliance on oil sector revenues to finance our demand for imported goods and services.
“Regrettably, previous governments abandoned the residual Investment-driven Non-Oil Sector, which constituted 40% of Gross Domestic Product and comprised agriculture, livestock, agro-processing, arts, entertainment, mining and manufacturing activities that provide millions of jobs for able-bodied Nigerians and utilize locally available raw materials and labour for production,” He said to address the said imbalance and achieve economic his government had designed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, which was launched on the 5th of April, 2017.
Buhari said this medium-term development plan charted the trajectory for the country’s economy to exit from recession and return to the path of sustainable, diversified and inclusive growth for Nigerians. “Pursuant to these reforms, the economy has recovered and we have had 9 successive quarters of growth since our exit from recession. “The exchange rate in the last 3 years has remained stable, with robust reserves of US$42.5 billion, up from US$23 billion in October 2016. 19.
“Learning from the mistakes of the past, this Administration is committed to responsibly managing our oil wealth endowments. We will continue to prudently save our oil income and invest more in the non-oil job-creating sectors. “In this regard, we are significantly increasing investments in critical infrastructure. Last year, capital releases only commenced with the approval of the Budget in June 2018. “However, as at 20th June this year, up to N1.74 trillion had been released for capital projects in the 2018 fiscal year.
“Implementation of the 2019 Capital Budget, which was only approved in June 2019, will be accelerated to ensure that critical priority projects are completed or substantially addressed.”