Former President Goodluck Jonathan has stated that he is ready, willing and able to lecture President Muhammad Buhari’s administration on how to achieve economic growth, but only if they are willing to learn.
Jonathan in a social media communication titled, “Garba Shehu: The Time For Propaganda is Over. It Is Time For Proper Agenda!” and signed by his former Social Media aide, Reno Omokri, suggested that it was due to unavailability of ideas that President Buhari had sunk Nigeria into economic lows not seen since 25 years ago. According to many economists, the last time Nigeria had an economy this bad was when President Buhari was the military head of state.
The statement reads, “The Presidency’s statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on media to President Muhammadu Buhari has only exposed why Nigeria is in an economic recession and is floundering in all spheres.
It is quite sad that Malam Garba Shehu does not know that oil constitutes only 15% of Nigeria’s GDP and thus a fall in the price of oil should not lead to a collapse of the Nigerian economy as has been experienced under President Buhari.
If Garba and his boss are willing to learn, the Jonathan Foundation and the Peoples Democratic Party can arrange a course for them to be tutored on the subject-how to grow your economy to be the largest in Africa. We make bold that we are experienced in that area.
When Mr. Shehu says “There is nothing to show for the revenues earned, no major capital project was completed, neither power generation, road development, rail or agriculture benefitted from the windfall earnings” he only further exposes his intellectual laziness and failing memory.
Obviously Garba Shehu has forgotten that when his boss was commissioning the Abuja-Kaduna 187KM fast railway that enables Nigerians work in Abuja and live in Kaduna, he was forced to admit that the project was conceived, built and completed by the Jonathan administration.
At that event, President Muhammadu Buhari said about the $1.5 billion project and I quote “This project was conceived by a previous administration, started by the last government”.
My question to Mr. Shehu is this-who is a liar between him and his boss?
I also urge Garba Shehu to take note of the fact that the only Federal University in his boss’s home state of Katsina was built by the Jonathan administration in addition to 13 other universities and 165 Almajiri schools built all over Nigeria. For people who don’t value education, I am not surprised that they see this as “nothing to show”!
It may also interest Garba Shehu to note that the Jonathan administration revived the moribund Nigerian Railways Corporation to the extent that the loquacious Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi was forced to confess on December 15, 2015 and I quote “In fact, I think we have a problem; most people don’t believe that the railway transport is functioning in Nigeria. I didn’t even know, until I started this tour, I never knew that the railway was functioning, it was even from his (MD’s) speech that I learnt that there are some coaches or services that go to Kano or Port Harcourt or elsewhere.”
These are just a few of the infrastructural legacies of the Jonathan era.
It is quite surprising that Garba Shehu now praises the former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, His Royal Majesty, Muhammadu Sanusi II.
Nigerians have not forgotten that it is the same Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, now Muhammadu Sanusi II who carpeted the economic policies of the Buhari administration, saying that under the Buhari administration, and again I quote, “There is one rate for petroleum marketers, there is interbank rate, there is another for money market operators such as western union, money gram, there is bureau de change rate and there is a special rate you get when you call the CBN for a transaction.”
My other question to Garba Shehu is this, how will an economy not collapse when you have multiple exchange rates?
Malam Garba and his boss continues to show that they are in over their necks by their statements. For instance, Garba says “At the inception of the current administration, 21 States were unable to meet their salary bills and the spectre of workers arrears had commenced. The PDP solution was the raid the Ecological Fund and selectively grant N2Bn each to the PDP States.”
Is it that Garba Shehu and his boss do not know that Nigeria is a federation and that the Federal Government cannot control the states? No wonder they are against restructuring and want to throw the report of the 2014 National Conference into the dustbin.
We have already proved that the accusation re the Ecological Fund is a lie and it shows desperation on the side of the Presidency to rehash it.
When that notorious liar, Nasir El-Rufai first made the accusation, we showed, with documentary evidence, that core PDP states like Akwa-Ibom, where the then chairman of the PDP Governors Forum comes from and Ekiti state which was the only PDP state in the Southwest, did not benefit from the Ecological Fund. Meanwhile, 10 states which were of the then opposition All Progressive Congress did.
Apparently, when Garba Shehu and Lai Mohammed speak, they speak their native language, lies!
Mr. Garba Shehu would do well to remember that his boss promised Nigerians 3 million jobs every year. Rather, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, 4.58 million jobs, created by the Jonathan led PDP administration, were lost in his boss’s first year.