Politics

“Buhari not to blame for Nigeria’s present challenges” – VP Shettima

Vice President Senator Kashim Shettima has stated that the challenges faced by the present administration upon assuming office on May 29 cannot be attributed to the immediate-past administration led by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Shettima, who stated this at a roundtable hosted by the 21st Century Chronicle, said that President Bola Tinubu made a difficult decision for the country’s benefit rather than opting for an easy way out.

His words: The president chose the option that will save the lives of the people instead of the ones that will lead to the prolong the economic death. We will not resort to put the blame on previous administration as leadership is about courage, continuity.

“Before we took charge, the biggest elephant in the room was about fuel subsidy removal. It was an albatross around the neck of the nation for the past 20 to 30 years. 

We understood why our predecessor decided to remove subsidy because there were no sufficient budget for it in the fiscal year.

“A year before we took office, Nigeria’s debt service to revenue ratio had grown to 111.18 percent. It was an economic death sentence. 

To be plain to us, our debt service was that if you earn N100,000, you are forced to borrow an additional N11,800 to pay the debtor. How do we intend to survive this? It will be long before we become a pariah.

“We have to jettison the subsidy regime. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but we had to do it.

“A presidential candidate in the last election, eager to mock our economic trajectory, once pointed Argentina as a model to Nigeria and became an overnight market specialist. He was convinced that we had missed our way and should have adopted the ways of our friends in South America.

“Barely two weeks, we watched as Argentina’s inflation rate surged. We respect what the president is doing there, but governance is not photocopying.”

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