Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has declared that attempt by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to borrow $29.96 billion to finance the 2016 budget would finally depress the country’s economy, calling on Nigerians to reject the decision.
Fayose, who accused the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki of giving tacit support to the Buhari’s move, warned that any attempt to subvert the wishes of Nigerians, whom he said had vehemently rejected the proposition would be tantamount to betrayal of trust.
The governor, who had been a consistent critic of the Buhari’s government also predicted that a great implosion would soon rock the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that would sign a death knell for the party before the 2019 general elections.
Fayose spoke in Ado Ekiti yesterday while delivering a lecture titled: ‘Journalism: Antidote to Economic Recession’ to mark the 2016 Press Week of the Ekiti Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Fayose, who lampooned Buhari for blaming the past governments for the economic woes despite that he had spent one and half years in the saddle, said borrowing of such huge amount of loan from the international market would push the economy from the present recession to depression level.
“The current situation whereby the federal government is running after perceived opposition suggests that of a man that is interested in pursuing re-election rather than solving economic problems.
“A situation whereby government is borrowing far and above its external reserves means that the 2016 budget will not be implementable because about 30% will be used to service external debt and if this happens, then our economy will go into depression in 2017.
“At the departure of President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, a dollar was at the upper limit of N220 and official rate of N190. But today, a dollar is N477 which shows clearly that Buhari’s government has damaged the economy by 30%.
“As we speak now, Nigeria is gradually entering autocracy. Judiciary no longer has courage to defend democracy. The government is clueless about how to solve the economic problem. All they are pursuing is how to demonise opposition. No justice and justice is the bedrock of democracy.
If they are really serious about diversification, they should spread the country’s commonwealth. As we speak now, no good irrigation in the whole of southwest. They should stop round-tripping of dollars”.
He said his support for the former Lagos State Governor, Ahmed Bola Tinubu should not be mischievously misinterpreted to mean he was planning to defect to APC.
“How can I join a party that is making Nigerians hungry and angry? God forbid. I have seen the body Language of Senator Saraki that he was planning to hit the gavel in support of external borrowing. I want to warn that the National Assembly must not kill Nigerians perpetually”, he said.
Fayose appealed to journalists to be courageous, fearless and be above board in tackling the social ills by reporting how the people were faring under the present economy so that the entire world could see a clear picture of the country’s economic situation.