Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has hit hard at the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration over some of the moves by the government in the handling of the Coronavirus Disease in the country.
Abubakar, in an opinion article he wrote on Tuesday, said there are several moves by the Buhari Administration that must be reversed in order not to put the country in further trouble.
In the article, titled: “What Africa must do to mitigate damaging effects of Coronavirus,” the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 elections, said: “Oil prices have crashed, and that by itself should not be enough to trigger a crisis. After all, the current price of oil was lower than it is today when President Olusegun Obasanjo and I assumed office on May 29, 1999. Yet we paid off Nigeria’s entire foreign debt.
“However, there are two remarkable differences. The first is that we had a stellar cabinet between 1999-2007. We had the right people manning our economy. We certainly would not have proposed to take out a $500 million loan to digitalise the Nigerian Television Authority, or devoted N37 billion to renovating the National Assembly complex (which was built from the scratch at less than 20 per cent of that amount).
“Today’s Nigerian government is severely lacking in qualified hands. And nothing proves this than the state of the Presidency itself. To think that after devoting N13 billion to the State House Clinic in the last five years, it is virtually useless as we face the most significant public health challenge of our national life. That is a pointer to the state of our federal government.
“The second and perhaps more important thing is that we did not have to deal with a worldwide pandemic of this extent (although we had the H5N1 incident).
“As it stands today, the world is too preoccupied with its challenges to prioritise Africa, and so we have to prioritise ourselves. The issue of Nigeria wanting to borrow $6.9 billion at this time shows the almost delusory state of our government. No one has that type of money to throw about.”
Abubakar went on to proffer the way forward.
The full article is published elsewhere on this news website.