Charles Soludo, Former Central Bank governor, has said that President Buhari inherited a bad economy but made it worse. The former CBN chief said this when he spoke at the ‘Big Ideas Podium’, a public policy debate organised by the Afri Heritage Institution in Enugu.
According to him, Nigeria’s economy is in a massive compression.
Buhari met a very bad situation when he assumed power, but he has made the situation worse. Nigeria today is a fragile state with a failing economy. Some say failing state; some say failed state. The economy is not just in recession; we are suffering from massive economic compression. Saying it is recession trivialises the issue. It will be a miracle if after eight years, by the time it leaves office in 2023, the current administration is able to return the economy in dollar terms to the exchange rate it met when it took over. The truth is this government inherited a very bad situation, but it has made it very much worse.
If you see the governments run by APC, PDP and APGA, they are all the same, because Nigerians don’t hold them accountable. We must resolve as citizens not to let government off again; peaceful agitation must be encouraged and tolerated in this country. Everybody must be allowed to have a voice. For example, the APC promised us that they were going to restructure Nigeria before the elections. They said the current structure was not working, they said that Nigeria was becoming a failed state, but now they are in power and they are not getting it done. Unless we citizens rise up and tell the government ‘deliver on what you promised’, they will not get it done. Nigeria is not working in anybody’s interest except that of the privileged few and because of this, there is an obsession with unnecessary distractions, like which part of the country produces the President. You can have the President, the Vice President and all the ministers from one village and the life of the ordinary people from that village will not move from point A to point B. The North has ruled the country for several years, but poverty, to a very large extent, is a northern problem. In the last dispensation, we had Jonathan as President, the Finance ministry and almost all the financial institutions of government were headed by Igbos then, but we still don’t have any motorable federal road in Igboland. Change is a struggle. Change is never given by a benevolent elite. No change is given by the government. The people always had to ask for change. Nigeria has been waiting for a benevolent leader since 1960 but he has not come. You will get the type of leader that the people demand. The change we think we need will never be given to us. We have to demand it. We have to agitate for it, and it is the sustained agitation that will bring about the change. Citizens should get involved and stop complaining.