Wednesday, 22 May 2024 04:44

Tinubu not to blame for economic hardship - Ex-Bauchi gov

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Former Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda asserted on Tuesday that President Bola Tinubu should not be held accountable for the current economic hardship and high inflation in Nigeria.

Speaking at the inaugural Asiwaju Scorecard Series organized by the All Progressives Congress Professionals Forum in Abuja, Yuguda emphasized that the economy was already in serious trouble before Tinubu took office.

In recent months, Nigerians have faced rising costs of food and inflation despite improvements in the exchange rate of the naira against the dollar. However, Yuguda argued that the Tinubu administration is not solely responsible for these economic challenges.

Yuguda highlighted that Tinubu inherited significant burdens, including a subsidy scam, widespread corruption in the civil service, and the economic impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, which saw billions of naira paid to subsidize domestic fuel consumption at historically low levels.

"The President did not create any of the problems people are talking about, whether in the economy or other sectors," Yuguda said. "What he met on the ground would have created a worse situation if not properly handled, but he is championing necessary reforms for a better society."

Yuguda pointed out that upon taking office, Tinubu announced the removal of the fuel subsidy, clarifying that it was not included in the latter part of the 2023 budget. Despite this, the administration has faced criticism over the subsidy removal.

Yuguda also reiterated his longstanding opposition to the fuel subsidy, which he documented during the Goodluck Jonathan administration when he chaired a subcommittee on the economic meltdown and recommended its removal due to widespread fraud.

He noted that a recent study showed Nigeria paid billions for fuel subsidies during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown despite low domestic consumption.

"The President has been proved right with petrol importation dropping by 50 percent since June 2023," Yuguda added, highlighting the anticipated local production from the Dangote refinery and the upcoming resumption of production at the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries.

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