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Oil Prices Not Jonathan’s Policies Caused Nigeria’s Growth Under His Govt – Fashola

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, November 11, (THEWILL) – The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has stated that the Goodluck Jonathan-led immediate past administration cannot take glory for Nigeria's economic growth over the past decade.

Speaking at the fifth EU-Nigerian business forum, he stated that the growth over the past decade was driven by high prices of crude oil, not any economic policy implemented by the Jonathan administration.

The former Lagos governor pointed out even Donald Trump who just won the US election knows that infrastructure drives growth, as stated in his speech after being announced as winner of the American election.

His words, “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 scinece 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 minister, who maintained that the flipflop in government policies in the past did not help infrastructural growth, stated 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.

Fashola said, “Investors must have the assurance that government will not flip flop, and contracts that fail have consequences. There is cost for investors on both sides.

“I recall, just shortly after I became governor, we privatised some refineries, a government came and cancelled it. So we should stop this back and forth.”