Friday, September 23, 2016

Fashola Explains Why It Is Impossible For Buhari Stop Blaming Past Govts

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has made excuses for President Muhammadu Buhari’s habit of reminiscing on the past and blaming past administrations for the economic turmoil in the country, saying “yesterday remains relevant in understanding today in order to make choices that make tomorrow different and better”.

Fashola, who spoke Tuesday at the Wilson Centre, Washington D.C. at a lecture titled: “Leadership and the Politics of Reform in Africa: Lessons from Nigeria”, was however optimistic about the capacity of the present government to turn things around for the good of the country.

He said although “we manage the time, we do not control the time. We need people to work hard. We are changing the unproductive practices of yesterday”.

Elaborating further, the minister said practices “where the government chose to distribute cash, rice and imported kerosene in order to win votes, rather than invest it in the payment of contractors, got them to build roads, power projects, housing and real infrastructure,” were some of the factors responsible for today’s economic recession.

According to him, “Yes, the global economy is not in the best place across Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The impacts are local and diverse, and those who invested well yesterday are better able to cope with a harsh winter while they expect a glorious spring.

“In Nigeria, the choices of yesterday make this winter a very harsh one for our people, because we did not invest in the right things.

“Our government of yesterday expressed its preference for providing ‘infrastructure of the stomach’, giving handouts instead of real infrastructure.

“This is how the seeds of today’s recession were sown. For those who say that today’s government should stop talking about yesterday, with due respect, I disagree.

“Yesterday will remain relevant in understanding today in order to make choices that make tomorrow different and better.

“I once used the allegory of the patient, and I think it deserves repetition. If a patient complains about stomach pain, the first question that the physician is likely to ask is: ‘What did you eat yesterday?’

“The answer helps the physician make a diagnosis and choose a prescription first to solve the problem, and to recommend further dietary habits about what to eat and what not to eat. This is what the current leadership is addressing.”

The former Lagos State governor stressed that what Nigerians ate yesterday was “that we wasted our money”.

“We did not invest in roads, highways, bridges, schools and hospitals. Money was taken out of the larger society and invested in private accounts. The economy began to shrink, construction companies laid off workers, who in turn lost income, which resulted in shrinking demand for goods and services, and in turn led to national under-productivity.

“That was what we ate yesterday. The stomach pain is comparable to symptoms of bad dietary choices that manifest in the recession we now deal with.

“The solution is to spend on infrastructure, which has started. The recovery time is a function of what we can spend and how quickly it will go round… If an arid area of land has not witnessed rainfall in two to three years, you know what happens when the first rain falls. It literally disappears into the ground.

“In order to reach a point where any moisture is visible in the soil that may support the germination of a seed to be planted, more rain water needs to be injected. This is the best analogy I can offer for where our national economy is.

“But I will conclude by saying I am optimistic that we will turn things around,” he said.



  1. Things really went wrong inthe past

  2. This excuse is totally unacceptable. You guys saw what was happening and decided to get to power to turn it all around for good. You guys knew economy was falling and gave Nigerians hope of one dollar to one naira which they fell for. You blame past govt for everything whereas ur policies are d main cause. Biko stop TSA, let bureau de change do their thang and tell me economy won't improve. Blame on o... 2yrs don almost reach b4 u knw 4yrs don reach. God save Nigeria....

    1. Did I hear you say stop TSA? Hmm you must be one of those who benefitted from the holes in government to enrich yourself otherwise you wouldn't be asking for this.

      Nobody is stopping bureau de change from selling their dollar. The difference now is that no one is dashing people dollars from our reserve again so the flow of stollen dollars has dried up