President-elect, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), has said that he is currently at a loss on how best to tell Nigerians that his promise of turning the economy around quickly upon assumption of office on May 29 may not be feasible after all. Buhari premised his fear on the perception that the economy has been battered by the outgoing government of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
We’ll inherit empty treasuries – APC govs
This was even as governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said empty treasuries may be awaiting them in their respective states.The governors cried out that most state governments had gone bankrupt and, therefore, cannot pay workers’ salaries.
According to them, it was obvious that they were going to inherit huge debts which may delay speedy progress in their respective states. They were, however, silent on APC states like Lagos, Edo and Osun, which are currently the most indebted in the country.
Buhari and the governors expressed the fear when the governors paid him a congratulatory visit at the Defence House, Abuja.
Buhari to plead with Nigerians for patience
Buhari, who recalled what the regime of late General Sani Abacha did to establish the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF, however said he would plead with Nigerians for their understanding and patience even as he reiterated his commitment to restoring security.
He said: “The expectation is too high and I have started nervously to explain to people that Rome was not built in a day. For this to be corrected, please, give the incoming government a chance.
“Here, I will like to recall what happened during the Abacha regime which led to the emergence of PTF. The Abacha regime was a military regime and it thought that the only way was to increase the prices of petroleum products. But they were not taking Nigerians for a ride. They would have said that if Nigerians decide to riot, they have the guns and so they can have their way.
“They decided to tell Nigerians that they were going to increase prices of petroleum products and the money we get, we will put aside for development. That was how PTF came.
“So, this time around, under this system, to bounce back with the issue especially with the backlog of salaries which are of immediate concern to individuals and states, I think we should look for a better way to address the issue and think of how to persuade people to give us a chance to organise the economy immediately and get something to pay salaries. The people will give us a chance to stabilise the economy.”