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The economy is in bad shape, Nigerians must tighten their belt and prepare for tougher times ahead – President Buhari told governors

President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa after he arrived Nigeria yesterday

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said that the economy is currently in a bad shape.

He revealed this on Friday during a closed-door meeting with state governors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Mr. President consequently urged Nigerians to tighten their belt because there are tougher times ahead.

“The economy is in a bad shape and that we have to come together, think and rethink on the way forward,” Governor Abdulaziz Yari, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, who spoke to State House correspondents said Buhari told them.

According to Yari, President Buhari noted that everyone must tighten their belt.

“(The President) talked to us in a manner that we have a task ahead of us; we should tighten our belts and see how we can put the Nigerian economy in the right direction,” Yari said.

Governor Yari further noted that Buhari blamed the poor state of the nation’s economy on the 16 years of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rule, saying that the PDP wasted the nation’s resources.

“He (Buhari) wondered about what happened in the past; that for the 16 years of the now opposition party, the PDP in power and with oil at 2.1million barrels per day at an average of $100, many infrastructure are in bad shape.”

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State
Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State

Speaking about the forthcoming 2019 elections, Yari noted that it will be harder than previous polls in the nation.

“it is not going to be easy; it will be harder than before,” he said Buhari admitted regarding the coming election.

He further expressed gratitude to President Buhari over his interventions to states who were owing salaries.

“When Mr President came on board, 27 states out of 36 could not pay salaries; some for 13, 12, eight and five months respectively,” he added.

PDP reacts, says Buhari has admitted he failed

The PDP in its reaction noted that President Buhari’s revelation to state governors shows that contrary to his campaign promises in 2015, he was unable to fix the economy.

Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, in his statement noted that by asking Nigerians to tighten their belts, Buhari had already admitted that Nigeria’s economy had worsened under his watch.

“Mr. President by this statement has admitted that he is tired and that the task of running a competitive economy such as ours is way above his capacity.

“If President Buhari had heeded wise counsel from Nigerians and the international community to hands off critical sectors of our economy and allow competent hands to manage them, our economy would not have gone into a biting recession, for which he is now asking Nigerians to tighten their belts.”

“Nigerians must hold President Buhari directly responsible for the official flops, harsh economic policies and humongous corruption in his regime, which led to the collapse of our once robust economy, turned our nation to the poverty capital of the world with the worse form of hunger and starvation to the extent compatriots now consider suicide mission and slavery as options.

“Most reprehensible is that Mr. President wants Nigerians to tighten their belts at a time he, his officials and associates are swimming in very expensive lifestyles.”

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