Barely four days after the National Bureau of Statistics posted its third quarter report on the economy, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Friday that the economy remained in a bad shape.
The President had held a closed-door meeting with state governors at the Presidential Villa on Friday, amid expectations that it was to finally resolve the lingering dispute on the National Minimum Wage.
CK10 Media gathered that hours to the Friday meeting, the governors, under the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, had met on Thursday night before proceeding to the Villa meeting with Buhari.
Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, who briefed news men at the end of the meeting, said Buhari, during their closed-door session, expressed the need for Nigerians to tighten their belts.
He said: “Mr. President as usual, responded by telling us that the economy is in a bad shape and we have to come together and think and rethink on the way forward.
According to Yari, Buhari opened up to the governors during the 30-minute meeting, telling them that “the economy is in a bad shape and that we have to come together, think and rethink on the way forward.”
Pressed further to speak on the details of the discussions with the President, Yari declined, but stated, ”(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.”
At the meeting, Yari said Buhari continued to blame the state of the economy on the 16 years of the Peoples Democratic Party rule and how the present opposition party allegedly wasted national resources on profligacy.
The governor added that the President later informed them that he would still use the 16 years of the PDP as the focus of his 2019 re-election campaign.
The governor spoke further, “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.”W
Incidentally, Yari recalled that Buhari recently said that he would no longer complain about the PDP’s 16 years in office, but that it appeared the President had done a rethink.
Yari said, “He is going to open a vigorous campaign and these are key issues that he is going to raise with Nigerians so that they can weigh their choices.”
He added that Buhari wished himself (President) and all candidates for the 2019 polls best of luck, but reportedly admitted that, ”it is not going to be easy; it will be harder than before.”