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Why we resorted to borrowing – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday explained that his government took loans in the interest of Nigeria to solve the dire shortfall in infrastructure. He spoke…

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday explained that his government took loans in the interest of Nigeria to solve the dire shortfall in infrastructure.

He spoke at a virtual meeting with members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council at the State House, in Abuja.

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He said the country must fix its roads to save lives from soaring road accidents.

Buhari said: “We have so many challenges with infrastructure.

“We just have to take loans to do roads, rail and power, so that investors will find us attractive and come here to put their money.”

He decried the failure to provide the infrastructure for effective transportation deprived the country of its well-deserved status as the West African hub for Air cargo transportation and trans-shipment of goods.

He noted the challenges posed by the “collapse of the oil market” and the decision of government to abide by the reduced oil production quota allocated by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

“We’ve to accept that decision; otherwise they (Middle-East producers) can flood the market and make the product unviable.

“So, we’ve cooperated with what we get.

“With oil, we’re in a difficult situation.

“The politics of oil is that the less you produce, the less you earn.

“For us to bounce back to productivity, especially in agriculture, the unemployed with many of them uneducated had to be persuaded to go into agriculture.

“If we hadn’t gone back to the lands, we’d have been in trouble by now.

“That’s why we virtually stopped the importation of food thereby saving jobs and foreign exchange,” Buhari said.

He also broached the issue of COVID-19 pandemic and how it necessitated the recent government policies as they relate to energy (electricity) and fuel.

He said his government took such decisions because it placed the country above politics.

“COVID has reduced us to the same level as developed countries.

“We’re lucky we went back to the land.

“We eat what we produce.

“We’re doing our best to secure the country and provide infrastructure for investment to be viable in the country,” he said.

Commending the council members for their patriotism and service to the nation, he promised to continue to draw from their wisdom, knowledge and experiences as the nation deals with challenging economic times.

Earlier, Salami had said the council recommended steps for the effective implementation of government’s plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty as well as measures to curb poverty disparity in Nigeria.

The PEAC expressed support and solidarity with the administration on its recent policies.

It listed the implementation of reforms encapsulated in the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 recently signed into law, the reforms in the energy sector, bringing electricity and fuel prices in line with the market, and the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to merge the exchange rate of the naira versus other foreign currencies.

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