The Chairman of the Media Trust Group, Mr. Kabir Yusuf, has passed a scathing verdict on former President Muhammadu Buhari’s management of the economy, saying his team left the economy worse than they met it.
Yusuf spoke on Thursday in Abuja, at the 21st Daily Trust Dialogue and Presentation of African of the Year Award, with the theme, “Tinubu’s Economic Reforms: Gainers and Losers”.
He said members of Buhari’s cabinet have been trying to create a positive image for the Buhari administration through book launches but failed to give an account of their mandate.
“Sadly, the economy has become more vulnerable than resilient. The Buhari team, by most economic measures, left things worse than they met them.
“They may have their excuses and are actively trying to whitewash this record. But as the Nigerian economy goes into a tailspin, its managers in the last decade cannot account for their mandate, in one or two book launches,” Yusuf said.
The chairman noted that although the public may argue it was too early to assess President Tinubu’s economic reforms, the group decided to focus on the far-reaching effects of the reforms on Nigerians.
Panellists at the occasion discussed the impacts of President Tinubu’s key reforms, especially the fuel subsidy removal and the foreign exchange rate unifications which massively depreciated the Naira.
In his remarks, a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Shamsudden Usman called on President Tinubu to make public the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set for his ministers and other Chief Executive Officers.
He identified insecurity and inadequate power supply as major challenges confronting the socio-economic development of the nation, which deserved priority attention.
“It is shameful for Nigeria to continue recording National Grid collapse in the electricity sector,” said Usman who was also, at different times, Minister of National Planning and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He noted that despite President Tinubu’s promises of palliatives and the provision of 3, 000 buses, powered by Condensed Natural Gas (CND), Nigerians were yet to see the buses, several months into the administration.
“Where are the palliatives? How well are they being implemented? Where are the CNG Buses? These are legitimate questions.
“How are the additional revenues (from subsidy removal) being utilised? If they are just used to pay salaries, then the majority of Nigerians will not gain from the subsidy savings.”
There is hope for Nigerians – Fasua
Speaking at the occasion, the Special Adviser on Economic Matters to the President (Office of the Vice President), Tope Fasua said the reforms of President Tinubu’s administration will leverage the resources of the country to improve the lives of citizens.
“We are quickly taking these reforms seriously. Despite the downturn of the economy, there is still hope for 88% of Nigerians who fall within the informal sector of the economy and so, it will be difficult to cover that number in what NLC is fighting for.
“The economic policies we are operating under Tinubu’s administration are going to take the best from capitalism, socialism, and from everywhere for our people. We should stop thinking that the government is a bunch of waste,” he said.