In a manner that depicted worry and anger consequent upon the present poor state of the Nigerian economy, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja lashed out at the 16 years rule of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, regretting that the previous governments did not save for the “rainy day”.
Buhari spoke while receiving the President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr. Bernard O. Aliyu at the State House, Abuja.
Making a comparison of PDP governments to the first republic which he said achieved a lot with meager resources of that time, the president regretted that the PDP governments failed to help the economy grow even with the all-time rise of crude oil sales of $100 dollars per barrel then.
President Buhari who also declared that Nigeria needed to grow beyond mere emphasis on its potentials, however assured that his administration would do its best to develop the economy beyond rethorics.
He said “Nigeria needs to work on her potentials, so that we don’t remain permanently at the level of potentials.
“If Ethiopia is sustained largely by her airline industry, we have greater potentials here. But we must move out, engage with the rest of the world, as we need to re-establish the integrity of this country. We need to rebuild this country again.”
The President recounted that for the greater part of the last 16 years, oil sold above $100 per barrel but expressed regret that the nation did not have much to show for it.
“In the First Republic, more enduring infrastructure was built with meager resources.
But in the past 16 years, we made a lot of money without planning for the rainy day.
“We showed a lot of indiscipline in managing our economy, and that is why we are where we are today. But this time round, we’ll do our best.”
Speaking earlier, Dr Aliyu, the Nigerian-born ICAO president commended President Buhari for strides on anti- corruption, and urged Nigeria to pay more attention to development of civil aviation.
“Civil aviation is a catalyst for economic development. The level of aviation development in any country mirrors the economic development of that country,” he said.
The ICAO president also pledged to support the development of the aviation industry in Nigeria, urging the country to improve on training and capacity development, aviation security, aerodromes and air navigation, runways, control towers, terminal buildings, among others.