Ahmed Joda, the chairman of President Buhari’s transition committee, says no one should excuse himself for the current economic recession roiling the country.
Joda said those clamoring for restructuring the country should give the country at least three years to write a new constitution before taking such an action.
He noted that although Nigeria was presently experiencing one of its worst economic crises in decades, with many states unable to pay salaries, the situation, he said, never came to him as a surprise because it is a cumulative effect of several decades of national wrongdoing.
Joda spoke during the Eid-el- Kabir holiday in Yola, in response to questions regarding the cause of the recession, saying that he was “surprised the situation is not as critical as envisaged.”
He faulted the country’s over-reliance on oil exports as the major trigger of the current crisis, saying that things had started to go wrong a long time ago.
“It didn’t start in 1999, or in 2011 or 2015. Some things must have been going wrong for a very long time. Nigeria has always been able to feed itself until the whole system collapsed into a single file economy depending on oil. We stopped going to the farms. We discouraged mining and we destroyed all the industries.”
“I am surprised the recession in the country is not even worse as anticipated, given the character of the country in consuming without producing.”
“We are a consumer country. The oil and gas, we are not producing them, if we are to tell ourselves the truth. We have four refineries, yet we can’t refine. We are importing [refined] oil. We don’t even have enough facilities to import the quantity of fuel that we require. We are badly managing our affairs. We are destroying our economy. So I’m not surprised that we are in this situation. I’m only surprised that we are not even worse.”
According to him, no one can excuse himself of culpability because since independence everyone had engaged in “defrauding Nigeria”.