4 things that almost made President Buhari consider running away from Nigeria in 2016
The situation, at this time, was so bad that Nigerians are already leaving the country en masse.
Mr Buhari made this know while speaking to a cross-section of Nigerians in Cote d’ivóre on November 28, 2017. He said the situation was so bad that he considered not only abdicating power, but also fleeing the country.
“When I came, what I found out is terrible. It is absolutely terrible. We are lucky in Nigeria that we have been able to survive 2016. Honestly, I told some people close to me that I was thinking of which country to run to if things got out of hand,” Mr Buhari revealed.
Here are four things President Buhari said nearly pushed him into making the decision.
1. Collapse in global oil price and government revenue
According to President Buhari, the collapse of global oil price and a massive decline in government revenue made him consider leaving the country.
“Between 1999 and 2014, I have said it several times in Nigeria, Nigeria had never got so much revenue like it did at that time. But then, when we came, the price of oil went down to $28 per barrel from an average of $100 per barrel at the production rate of 2.1 million barrel per day. So, multiply 2.1 million by $100, that is what Nigeria was getting from 1999 to 2014,” Buhari said.
“But when we came, it fell to $28, then to $37 and then oscillating between $30 and $50. So it was amazing but God came with His help.”
2. Crashing FX market and value of Naira
Dwindling value of Naira against the US dollars was also noted as a situation that prompted him to consider taking this action.
The Naira broke the N500/$1 threshold in June, 2016 when the gap between the official FX rate and black market rate gets to about 70%. This situation led to hyperinflation in the country, and slide the country into Stagflation.
3. Mounting Debts
Since the beginning of Buhari’s administration, the country’s annual budget has been 55% planned on borrowings and debts. This situation led to poor implementation of the administration’s first budget.
He said: “But when we came, the price came down to $28. I went to Central Bank (of Nigeria) to look for money and they said there was no money, only debts."
4. Infrastructural challenges
The amount of infrastructural deficit in the country was massive than President Buhari had thought. Hence, the results of the infrastructural audit conducted by his government nearly scared the spirit out of him.
“And the infrastructure – roads, rail, power- that you have been talking about, nothing was absolutely done. So, really, God hears the prayers of His servants and the last three raining seasons were good. We were very lucky I would have absconded,” he said.
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