Former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on Tuesday, stated that President Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited an economy with national revenue that could barely service the nation’s debt burden as it was spending 96 percent of the income.
He made the remark after a private meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Senator Oshiomhole, who represents Edo North in the upper chamber of the national assembly, maintained that there could be no quick-fix measure for the nation’s economy by President Bola Tinubu’s administration because what he inherited was a precarious situation.
He told correspondents: “The issues of the economy is a work in progress. There is no quick fix. The government inherited a terrible economic situation. The government inherited an economy in which our total national revenue was barely enough to service our debt burden, spending 96%, which is to say every N100k Nigerian earns, 96k is going to repay debts, to service debt. So, you have only 4k left to pay all the salaries. So, nothing can be worse.
“But they came determined that they will have to do business unusual; to arrest the drift; stabilize the economy and then begin to move forward. Some painful decisions are necessary.
“Already, the executive, the president, and vice president; they’ve shown courage in terms of the decisions they have taken, a radical movement away from one in which if you are well connected, you could make billions without adding value to one in which if you want to make money, you have to work.
“We move away from a situation where CBN can favour you, and you become a billionaire, of which they can pauperize you, and your business collapses.
“Yes, it has created its own challenges, but I don’t know of any drug without side effects. Doctors will always tell you that every drug might cure your ailment, but it will have a side effect. So, in taking it, you have to do a cost and benefit analysis.
“On the whole, I believe that the broad economic, specific macroeconomic policies that have been put in place so far, both in terms of monetary policies and in terms of fiscal policies, is the best way to start.
“You remember just recently, a Minister of Finance distanced herself from the monetary policies of a CBN Governor, and they were not talking. If the hand and the leg are not walking in harmony, then there is no way you can get to your destination. So, I think we are in a better situation now.”
Continuing, he said, ” But my plea to Nigerians is, when I say I will bail you out, I will fix a complicated system that is malfunctioning, I believe everyone knows that the more terrible the situation is, the more time I will require to take the right decision.
“Given the paucity of data and all the other basic infrastructure, you need to take some quick decisions that are not pleasant, but the decision has to be taken.”