Former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, yesterday criticized the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, for failing to consolidate on the gains recorded by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s government in salvaging the nation’s economy.
El-Rufai said Obasanjo’s regime had laid a foundation which other incoming administration should build upon for the betterment of the poor masses.
He regretted that the Yar’Adua and Jonathan administrations squandered the inheritance from Obasanjo’s government.
He spoke while delivering a keynote address entitled; “13 years of civil rule: Few gains, many pains,” which he delivered yesterday at the opening of the 2012 Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Warri branch.
The former minister stated that achievements recorded in the advent of the present democratic dispensation from 1999 to 2007, particularly the lib-eralisation of the telecom-munication sector, which, according to him, brought in foreign investment, spurred ancillary business-es and put telephone in the hands of virtually every adult resident in the coun-try, could not be sustained and consolidated upon by successive governments.
The address of the former minister was presented by Chief Ayuba Giwa.
He said: “We saw the beginnings of a credible system, and even a skeletal mortgage scheme that as-sisted many of the buyers of Federal Government houses in Abuja. Nigeria won debt relief, consoli-dated its banking system and witnessed economic growth, no doubt assisted also by high oil prices.
“By 2007, the new govern-ment inherited vast reserve ($47bn) and ongoing series of power projects (NIPP), new rail system from Lagos to Kano ($8.3bn), Abuja metro ($800m) and vast ex-cess crude account ($23bn).
“In short, a basis to hit the ground running, com-plete ongoing projects, initiates new ones and continues the work of solving Nigeria’s problem was created. Alas, that did not happen.” El-Rufai also warned the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, against rigging the 2015 general elections.
The chieftain of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, vowed that Nigerians would be mobilized to resist any attempt by the ruling party to “impose itself on the country once again in 2015”.
Warning that rigging portends dire consequences for the country in 2015, he asked the PDP to allow the wishes of Nigerians to prevail in the elections.
He lamented that party had truncated the wishes of Nigerians in the previous elections.