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.
Findings indicated 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.
However, speaking with State House correspondents soon after the meeting with Buhari ended, the Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Zamfara State, Mr Abdulazeez Yari, disclosed that the President complained to them that the economy was still in a bad shape.
He stated that Buhari urged Nigerians to still tighten their belts and prepare for tougher times ahead.
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.”