ABUJA, Dec 14 – Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said the country’s economy was in “bad shape”, the governor of a northwestern state told reporters on Friday after a meeting with governors from across the country.
Buhari will seek a second term in an election to be held in February in which the economy is likely to be a campaign issue. Africa’s top oil producer last year emerged from its first recession in 25 years, caused by low crude prices, but growth remains sluggish.
“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,” Abdulaziz Yari, who chairs the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, told reporters when asked how Buhari answered requests for a bailout to some states.
“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 the Nigerian economy in the right direction,” said Yari, who is Zamfara state governor. He spoke to journalists in the capital, Abuja.
The main opposition candidate, businessman and former vice president Atiku Abubakar has criticised Buhari’s handling of the economy and said that, if elected, he would aim to double the size of the economy to $900 billion by 2025.
Nigeria’s economy grew by 1.81 percent in the third quarter of this year, the statistics office said on Monday. And on Friday it said the inflation rate rose slightly in November to 11.28 percent compared with a year ago.