The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, says Nigeria’s economy has hit a wall and is now in a ‘merciless condition.’
The former governor of Lagos State said this in a statement by his media office on Thursday.
This is just as Tinubu is set to deliver the keynote address at a lecture to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of renowned historian and activist, Dr. Yusufu Usman, at the Arewa House, Kaduna, on Friday (today).
The APC leader said that it was unfortunate that Nigeria wasted the opportunity of diversifying its economy when oil prices were at an all-time high.
Tinubu said Nigeria had been dancing on the edge of economic disaster for several years and failed to invest properly despite the warning signs.
The APC leader stated this just as the naira fell to its lowest level in Nigerian history on the parallel market, trading for N280 against the dollar on Thursday.
He said now that oil prices have plummeted, the economy has got worse. Tinubu added that there was no guarantee that oil prices would rise in the near future. He, therefore, called for a new way of thinking.
He said, “For decades, Nigeria danced in close confines with economic disaster. In the past, higher oil prices allowed us to dodge the worst. We have survived but not thrived. Improvised but not planned. Spent but not invested. Laughed, drank and feasted but did not build, construct or maintain. Now, Nigeria has collided into a wall, merciless and immovable. The present downturn in oil prices may be more than just a transient slump in the business cycle.”
The statement added, “Tinubu seeks a new economic paradigm. Nigeria needs economic liberation. Before we can free our economy, we must free ourselves of the economic myths consigning us to our current predicament. To achieve this objective, we must return to the ideals and concepts of Dr. Bala Usman.”
At the Friday event, Tinubu would explore key elements of the APC’s change agenda in relation to the liberation theory of the late Usman and within the context of the present political and economic challenges facing Nigeria.
In the keynote speech, Tinubu is expected to offer a lucid economic analysis of what confronts Nigeria and suggest innovative ways to move the political economy forward.
The statement added, “He (Tinubu) will offer fresh thinking on the way forward. The welfare of the people must be the anchor of public policy as this is in consonance with all that Bala Usman taught and practised.”
The Emir of Kano, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II; Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, and a large number of northern intellectuals are expected to also attend the lecture.