The minister for power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat to Muhammadu Buhari because he knew Nigeria would soon be plunged into recession.
Premium Times reports that the minister made this statement on Thursday, October 25 at a South-west town hall meeting organised by the minister for information, Lai Mohammed, and held at the Emeritus Professor Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall in Ibadan, Oyo state.
The former governor of Lagos said after plunging the country into recession, the Jonathan administration then pushed the country into debt.
He said: “What was left behind were massive debts owed to contractors who had not been paid for three to five years and who had laid off thousands of workers and shut down equipment and plants.
“That was one of the reasons why the economy first went into, and, I suspect, one of the reasons they (Goodluck administration) quickly conceded defeat.”
Fashola explained that when the present administration assumed office in 2015, the three ministries previous budget was N19 billion for works, N5 billion for power, and N1.2 billion for housing making a total of N25.2 billion, “as at when the country was selling oil at $100 per barrel in that decade”.
“In 2017, the All Progressive Congress (APC) led administration budget for works was N394 billion; power was N69.96 billion and housing was N64.9 billion (total- N529 billion) and oil price hovered between $40-$60 per barrel.
”Let me start by saying that my ministry is responsible for delivering some of Nigeria’s critical infrastructure for transport, electricity and housing,” he added.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for showing seriousness in the area of infrastructural development.
He said: “In a country where the population is growing faster than the infrastructure, the difference between these budgets must tell you that this government is more serious about providing infrastructure to support you.
”Another feature of the difference between these two budget sizes is that the last government was spending less on infrastructure for almost one decade when oil prices stayed at $100 per barrel during that decade. This government is spending more on infrastructure when oil prices largely hovered between $40-$60.”
He urged Nigerians to “either to vote in a government that spends more on infrastructure or a government that spent less on infrastructure”.
”So, if you need more roads, more bridges, more power, more housing and the job opportunities and prosperity that their delivery will bring, your choice in the next election should be easier.
”Don’t go back to a budget of N25.2 billion for infrastructure, move forward with a budget for infrastructure which has grown to N529 billion in 2018.
”So, in making your choice, please consider who is the better manager. The one who did less with more or the one who did more with less.
”Again I urge you to reflect. Do you want to go back to doing less with more, or move forward with doing more with less?”
Meanwhile, Akahi News had earlier reported that the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday, October 25, urged the people of southwest to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 elections to guarantee a return of power to the region in 2023.