The Nigerian economy is in recession. Who is to blame for the recession is one question that seems top most in the hearts of Nigeria’s leaders. Most fingers are pointed in one direction, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Why is this? What have they said about him? Do they have proof? Here are some of the politicians and what they have said:
1. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is the former governor of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the current Emir of Kano, he is of the opinion that the recession was caused by the Goodluck Jonathan led government.
While delivering a lecture at the ongoing 15th meeting of the Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning in Kano. He started off by saying that there was an urgent need for the country to return to the drawing board and expand the economy through wise investment for the economic growth and development of the country.
Then he pointed accusing fingers at the immediate ex -president Goodluck Jonathan, when he said: “If we do not expand the economy through wise investment, we can end up in classical Malthusian situation. If this government continues to behave the way the past government behaved, we will end up where Jonathan ended.”
2. Rotimi Amaechi
Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi
Former governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi, who is currently the Nigerian minister of transportation, in an interview with Vanguard, published on August 4, 2016 also pointed accusing fingers at the GEJ government.
The minister known for always speaking his mind said: “People just pick up words without knowing what they mean. Even under Goodluck (Jonathan) we went into recession.
“I am one of those who participated in the budget. We looked at what happened in the past and we discovered that actually if recession means three times (three quarters of negative economic growth), we have done more than the three times before we came in.
“The difference is that while our government is transparent and open, we are able to admit that, the Federal Government was saying even to me as chairman of governor’s forum, ‘Amaechi, don’t say that again’.
“If you remember as governor, I said we were broke. The minister of finance came to my office in Abuja and pleaded with me that I shouldn’t say it again. That if I said it, it would affect Nigeria in terms of investment; that investors will run away. That I shouldn’t say we are broke. I should say we are cash-strapped. That was what Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told me.
“So, I knew as chairman of Nigeria Governors’ forum, that we had gone into recession under Goodluck. I knew as chairman of governor’s forum. And when I open my mouth to say it, that we are broke, she spoke to me not to say it.”
3. Olusegun Obasanjo
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo, while speaking at the official opening of the National Council on Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED) in Abeokuta yesterday, September 27, said the only way Nigeria could urgently step out of the current economic recession is for it to seek foreign loan.
He then accused the Jonathan governments saying that he warned the former president on the impending recession in November 26, 2014, when he joined others to celebrate the birthday of retired Justice Akanbi.
“I reminded the government that we were spending more than we were earning, that very soon, the country would not be able to fund the budget… Unfortunately, the government then refused to listen to my advice,” he told the gathering.
He then went on to reveal that when he discovered that the ban on the importation of toothpick was reversed by the Jonathan administration, he had visited Jonathan in Abuja to ask why he lifted the ban on toothpick and Jonathan said he did not read before he approved.
4. Abubakar Badaru
Abubakar Badaru the governor of Jigawa state, has added his voice to the growing list of people who believe that Jonathan’s administration should be blamed.
While speaking with journalists in Abuja on September 1, according to Daily Post he said that former President Goodluck Jonathan saw signs of an impending recession but did nothing to stop it.
“On this recession, you have to look at the history. We had signals towards end of 2013 to 2014, it has been there. We knew that it was coming but the past leaders did nothing to stop it,” he said.
“The problem with the past leaders was that they should have started cutting these expenditures from time. For instance, what Obasanjo did with the cement was good. We stopped importation of cement into Nigeria. Why do we have to import rice, maize, why do we have to import wheat? Why do have to import milk?
“At the time the going was good, the government was supposed to give credible intervention for us like what Obasanjo did with the cement to handle the production of rice. It is no magic.”
5. Father Mbaka
Father Ejike Mbaka
Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka, the Enugu-based catholic priest on Sunday, July 24, during his homily at Adoration Ministry, slammed the former President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing him of having ran a wasteful government which plunged the nation into its present economic recession.
He said: “Before Buhari took over, the dollar was rising, there was already problem with our economy. They had oil boom but never saved; they just wasted the opportunity.
“Even the suffering we are talking about was part of his prophesies. I recall that on 31st of January this year, he said clearly that Nigerians should brace up for hard times, he said a lot of hardship was under way; what these suffering Nigerians are passing through are a process of change.
“I’m seeing a great future for Nigerians; he made it clear that there are so many holes which needed to be filled.”
6. Muhammadu Buhari
While speaking to a group of Nigerian professionals on September 23, 2016, during his visit to the United Nations, President Buhari spoke plainly blaming the past administration for Nigeria’s problems.
“We got into trouble as a country, because we did not save for the rainy day. For example, between 1999 and 2015, when we produced an average of 2.1 million barrels of oil per day, and oil prices stood at an average of $100 per barrel, we did not save, neither did we develop infrastructure. Suddenly, when we came in 2015, oil prices fell to about 30 dollars per barrel.
“I asked; where are the savings? There were none. Where are the railways? The roads? Power? None. I further asked; what did we do with billions of dollars that we made over the years? They said we bought food. Food with billions of dollars? I did not believe, and still do not believe.
“In most parts of Nigeria, we eat what we grow. People in the South eat tubers, those in the North eat grains, which they plant, and those constitute over 60 per cent of what we eat. So, where did the billions of dollars go? We did a lot of damage to ourselves by not developing infrastructure when we had the money.”
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