PARIS, AUGUST 2, 2016: (DGW) THE Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi while defending President Buhari said that Nigeria's economic downturn started with the immediate past President Jonathan and not President Muhammadu Buhari.
While speaking On 'The Osasu Show', he said that the then Finance Minister begged him not to tell Nigerians that the economy was in recession in his capacity at the then Chairman of Nigeria Governors' Forum.
His words: “I am one of those who participated in the budget. We looked at what happened in the past and we discovered that actually if recession means three times (three quarters of negative economic growth), we have done more than the three times before we came in,” he said.
“The difference is that while our government is transparent and open, we are able to admit that, federal government was saying even to me as chairman of governor’s forum, ‘Amaechi, don’t say that again’.
“If you remember as Governor, I said we’re broke. The minister for finance came to my office in Abuja here and pleaded with me that I shouldn’t say it again.
“That if I said it, it would affect Nigeria in terms of investment that investors will run away. That I shouldn’t say we are broke. I should say we are cashed strapped. That was what Ngozi Okonjo Iweala told me.”
“So I knew as chairman of Governor’s forum, that we had gone into recession under Goodluck. I knew as chairman of governor’s forum. And when I open my mouth to say it, that we are broke, she spoke to me not to say it.”