The All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari said he refused to remove subsidies on petrol and devalue the naira when he was head of state because it would destroy the economy.
Buhari, who spoke during a town hall meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, said he refused the bidding of the world super powers to save the country.
He said the nation has lost greatly from the devaluation of the currency in terms of growing the economy and creating employment for the youth as employers who had to take bank loans to import raw materials and machines are running their industries at a loss.
?”When we came into power in December 1983, we were approached by the world power at some stage to devalue the naira, remove petroleum subsidy and remove subsidy on flour, but we refused,” he said.
He explained that “the issue was that if we get plenty of naira, what are we going to do with it? We even stopped farming and the only thing we get money from them was oil and that was being paid in dollars.”
He said “if you have excess of groundnut, cocoa, cotton or palm oil, you sell it in foreign exchange. If you devalue the currency, the naira will be affected and Nigerians will not get value for their goods and services.”
The APC flag bearer said “I was told to remove subsidy on petroleum and because I had the honour of being in charge of petroleum for three and half years, I don’t know in terms of Nigeria, who is subsidising who.”
“To the best of my knowledge then, the Nigerian petrol and Nigerian capital was used to develop the refineries up to the time I was there. We built the refineries from one of 50,000 bpd to four of 450,000 bpd, laid pipelines of over 3000 kilometres, built more than 20 depots with all Nigerian money,” he said.
He added that no money was borrowed to develop the infrastructure in the oil sector.