President Muhammadu Buhari revealed that he considered the idea of fleeing the country due to the economic hardship his administration faced when he was first sworn in.
During an interactive session with members of the Nigerian community in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoireon Tuesday, November 28, 2017, the president said the previous administration had left a mess for his government to clean up.
According to him, the economy he inherited from his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, was terrible enough for him to consider running away from the country.
He said, “When I came, what I found out was terrible. It was absolutely terrible. We are lucky in Nigeria that we have been able to survive 2016.
“Honestly, I told some people close to me that I was thinking of which country to run to if things got out of hand.
“Between 1999 and 2014, I have said it several times in Nigeria, Nigeria had never got so much revenue like it did at that time. But then, when we came, the price of oil went down to $28 per barrel from an average of $100 per barrel at the production rate of 2.1 million barrel per day. So, multiply 2.1 million by $100, that is what Nigeria was getting from 1999 to 2014.
“But when we came, the price came down to $28. I went to Central Bank (of Nigeria) to look for money and they said there was no money, only debts.
“And the infrastructure – roads, rail, power – that you have been talking about, nothing was absolutely done. So, really, God hears the prayers of His servants and the last three raining seasons were good. We were very lucky I would have absconded.
“I mean how could we have faced Nigerians and tell them this is what you have been earning from 2.1 million barrels per day from 1999-2014 multiplied by $100. In fact, it even went up to $143; and then came down to about $70-$80.
“But when we came, it fell to $28, then to $37 and then oscillating between $30 and $50. So it was amazing but God came with His help.”
During his summit, the president had high profile bilateral meetings with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel; Ivorien president, Alassane Ouattara; Ghanaian president, Nana Akufo-Addo; and Vice President of The Gambia, Fatoumatta Tambajang.