Fashola hits GEJ, says oil prices, not policies, drove economy under him
Considering the growing comments by arch supporters of former administration that ‘thing were better under Jonathan than now’, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has reacted, saying the government of Goodluck Jonathan cannot say it is responsible for Nigeria’s growth over the past decade.
According to him, “the growth over the past decade was driven by high oil prices, not any economic policy implemented by the Jonathan administration”.
In clear terms, the Minister said “In the last decade or so, we experienced growth in the region of about seven, seven and a half, eight percent, but the commentary that followed those growth records was that people were still struggling, and ultimately, the public coined a narrative known as non-inclusive growth”.
“There is a need to invest in infrastructure, and that is the meat of the point. That is the globally tested parameter for driving growth. In the science of economic management and governance, nobody has found a different way.
“I say this in the context of those who are tempted to lay some claim to any form of credit about why our economy was growing at seven percent for almost a decade, and I say very very clearly, without mincing words, that I don’t that anybody can fairly lay claim to any economic policy that drove that growth.
“It was growth that was driven by high oil prices. If we agree that infrastructure is the driver of growth, when you get high oil prices, what do you do with it? So, where are those towers, where are those bridges, where are those highways?
“It is fair to concede some initiatives, especially in the same sector in the petroleum industry, about promoting local content, but how far did local content go? It wasn’t in the productive part of oil, the rigs were not locally made, and all the technology wasn’t local.”
The former Governor of Lagos State was quick to argue that flip-flop in government policies in the past did not help infrastructural growth, stating that the investor community in Nigeria is so small, and they talk to themselves by day, the same way politicians do to themselves by night.