National Economic Council retreat cost taxpayers 250 million

Frugal President Muhammadu Buhari spent 250 million naira on the just concluded National Economic Council retreat. The revelation was made by the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, who labeled the retreat convoked by President Muhammadu Buhari, as a mere celebration of mediocrity. Fayose said, “The retreat has further exposed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of President Buhari lacked economic blueprint as the president is still talking the way he talked while seeking for votes from Nigerians.”

The governor was angry over the fact that the same governors who ruined the economy of their respective states were the resource persons at the retreat. He posed a question to wit: “What solution can the likes of former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who as governor plunged the State into unprecedented debt by borrowing money to build governor’s lodge, pavilion and uncompleted civic center proffer to the economy of Nigeria?”

“it is strange that close to one year after President Buhari was sworn in, he still cannot tell Nigerians one major economic step his government has taken to salvage the economy. He has not taken any key step and there is no economic team. That is strange! I was at the retreat and I can tell Nigerians categorically that it was just a jamboree. It was a waste of over N250 million public fund because most of the resource persons were the same people who ran their States aground.

“Instead of wasting over N250 million on such a jamboree, it would have been better if the fund is given to those downtrodden Nigerians, who are trading with as little as N5,000. For instance, at N10,000 each, N250 million will go round 25,000 pepper sellers whose capital is not more than N5,000 and that would go a long way in boosting their trade.

“Even most governors, including those of the APC were not happy with the economic retreat. Almost everything they proposed was opposed by the Governors. The president presented himself as an APC President, rather than the President of Nigeria. He spoke as though he was canvassing for votes and chose the retreat to tell the 22 states governed by the APC to build 250,000 housing units per annum. The question is which state in the present Nigeria can build 10,000 housing units per year?

“To me, the Federal Government appears not ready to face reality. The economic retreat sounds like another talk shop retreat and a clear indication that APC and President Buhari did not have an economic blueprint even when it took two months after winning election for the president to assume office.”