Kaduna governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has absolved President Muhammadu Buhari of blame in the ongoing economic crisis the country faces because the current government inherited a mismanaged economy that was built on an assumption that oil will remain at $100 per barrel.
“When people say that this administration has impoverished them, I think they are not being charitable, because I have said that we inherited a governmental structure at state and federal levels built around the assumption that price of oil will remain at $100 per barrel,” he told state house correspondents in Abuja.
He said with prices dipping as low as $26 per barrel at some point, it has led to some “painful adjustments.”
“This is what Nigeria is going through. Essentially, our revenues have collapsed by about 40 per cent to 60 per cent if you compare it with, say, 2014. This collapse happened because the price of oil has moved from a high of $140 a barrel around 2013 to a low of $26 per barrel in February 2016,” the governor said.
El-Rufai further said the situation in the Niger Delta which led to production falling to as low as 1.1 million barrels per day from over 2 million barrels also contributed to the tight situation.
El-Rufai said in 2007 when he left office as minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo handed over $40 billion in reserve and $27 billion in excess crude account.
“That is what we handed over to Yar’adua (late Umaru),” he said.
“Coming back as governor of Kaduna there is only $2.1 bn in excess crude account and when we left office the price of oil was $75 per barrel.”
He accused those who thereafter came into office of “blowing the savings, earning $300 billion and spending it, borrowing over $60 billion in the period and spending all”.
“It is up to President Buhari to clear that mess,” he said.