President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday told the governors of the 36 states of the federation that the economy of the country was in a bad shape.
The President met with the governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja for about 30 minutes.
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Abdulaziz Yari, said the President told them to tighten their belts.
He said, “Mr. President, as usual, responded by telling us that the economy is in a bad shape and we have to come together and think and rethink on way forward.
“So, Mr. President talked to us in the manner that we have a task ahead of us, so we should tighten our belts and see how we can put Nigerian economy in the right direction and how we can address the nation’s infrastructural decay.
“So, all of us as leaders, especially those that are coming to the National Assembly and those coming back as governors and the president who will be re-elected by God’s grace, we should not think that things are going to be easy.
“It is going to be harder than before. This was the message of Mr. President.” he said
On the meeting of the National Economic Council, the governor disclosed that the Council deliberated extensively on new ways state governments could generate additional revenues for speedy economic growth and development.
Asked what the decision on the N30,000 new minimum wage was, Yari declined to confirm whether the meeting with the president discussed the issue of the proposed minimum wage or not.
The Minimum Wage Negotiation team had recommended N30,000 as the new wage while the governors had earlier rejected the committee’s proposal and the N24,500 proposed by the federal government, saying that they will only pay N22,500.
The NGF chairman also disclosed that the President at the yesterday’s meeting lamented how the previous administrations under the opposition Peoples Democratic Party caused the nation’s infrastructure decay despite huge oil revenue.
Yari said: “He wondered about what happened in the past; that for the 16 years of the now opposition party, the PDP in power and with oil at 2.1 barrels per day at an average of $100, many infrastructure are in bad shape.”
Yari said that the President said he was going to open a vigorous campaign and “these are key issues that he is going to raise with Nigerians so that they can weigh their choices.”