Nigeria’s Foreign Reserve Was Emptied In 1984 (During Buhari’s Regime)- Fashola

By Ikenga Chronicles December 21, 2016

The Minister of Power,Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has disclosed how Nigeria’s foreign reserve was depleted in 1984 during Gen Muhammadu Buhari’s regime as the Head of State.

Fashola spoke on Tuesday, December 20 at the special town hall meeting, organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture, in Abuja.

Fashola lamented that he had his first contact with recession in 1989 but the country survived it. Because of that, he believes that “there is light at the end of the tunnel.’’

“Between 1979 and 1983 when I was in school, Nigeria had a lot of money in reserve. There was nothing we couldn’t buy, but by 1984 the money was gone” he said.

“We spent the money on all sorts of things, including drinks. There was no kind of drinks that you would not find in the country then. That was the time we started importing rice, other food items and exotic drinks.”

“However, 1989 was my first contact with recession. That was when it became very difficult to buy sugar and milk and all kinds of imported drinks suddenly disappeared.”

Fashola also said that Nigeria was in recession in 1985 when it became difficult to sustain the cafeteria system in schools.

“We used to eat a meal at the cafeteria at 50 kobo, including chicken, egg, bread and tea” he said.

“To feed as a student then was N45 a month for three good meals daily. In 1985 when that disappeared, Nigeria did not disappear.”

The minister said when he left the university, it was the time when travelling out of the country, popularly known as ‘Checking out Andrew’, was in vogue.

Fashola said many of his mates left for greener pastures abroad but he remained in the country because of his strong belief that Nigeria was a land of opportunities.

“I believed so much in the future of this country; I remained, worked hard, though I never knew I would sit here as a minister” he said.

“So I want to say to you the youth: don’t lose faith, don’t despair, there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel.”

Fashola said the 2017 budget, tagged ‘Budget of Recovery and Growth’, is meant to address recession and the government has set up the parameter for its success.

He underscored the need for Nigerians to “roll up our sleeves and work hard”, to get the country out of the economic quagmire.

“Only the president cannot recover and grow the economy; everybody must understand that we are at the time when we must work our hardest,” he said.

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