Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, to President Muhammadu Buhari, insists that the current administration has created more comfort for the incoming government of president-elect Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
He said this to dispel the popular belief that Buhari’s administration is leaving behind a mountain of challenges for Tinubu’s incoming government—from mounting debt, security challenges, growing inflation, raising unemployment, and a devastating poverty situation, among so many other challenges.
“Absolutely no, we are not leaving more trouble for the incoming government,” Shehu said when he appeared on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme. “Instead, we have created more comfort for the incoming administration than anybody would have ever thought.”
He explained that prior to the Buhari administration, the country was heavily dependent on crude oil as the mainstay of the economy, but things have changed as ICT and agriculture have greatly contributed to the economy.
He noted that agriculture in particular earns more money than oil. “Agriculture fetches more money for the country today than oil,” he said.
He promised that a diversified approach to economic growth would remain the underlying achievement of this administration.
“So the economy has been diversified into a broad-based economy, and we will continue to sustain the legacy,” the senior special assistant noted.
In statements that he made in the past regarding the nation’s inflation, he linked the rising inflation situation to the global cost of living crisis, which was brought forth by COVID-19, value chain disruption, and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
He said, “So everybody is faced with this difficulty, and the numbers are there—11 percent in the UK, the highest in 41 years—Ghana 41 percent, Turkey 45 percent, Pakistan around that number. So everybody is in this. At 22 percent, it is not ideal, but we are not as bad as the others are.”
He, however, praised President Buhari for implementing policies that have protected Nigeria’s economy and prevented it from getting worse, especially taking into context the two recessions the country has recovered from.
“Look at the effort that President Buhari has put in in the context of these challenges that are being faced by all the nations across the globe.
“When we came in, we inherited an economy that was recession-bound. It was headed for recession, and that was why soon thereafter, by 2016, we had recessed.
“The economy was recession-bound, and the government needed to pump out a lot of money, a lot of public works, and a lot of spending so that the economy would be regenerated,” he reiterated.