Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Journalists were barred from covering ongoing induction programme for newly-elected and returning governors at State House Conference Center, Abuja, yesterday.
Both State House Correspondents and accredited Nigeria Governor Forum (NGF) correspondents with exception of the crew of NTA were denied access into the venue.
State House Correspondents were not even allowed into the work station within the venue also known as the Old Banquet hall.
Investigations revealed that both the governors and the organisers were unhappy with the report of possible recession between 2020-2021.
Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, had on Monday warned incoming governors to be prepared for the possibility of another cycle of recession between mid-2020 and third quarter of 2021.
He had reminded participants that it would not be a smooth ride as they begin new administration on May 29, if prudent management of resources was not immediately ensured at all tiers of government.
According to him, while the crude oil price was over $100 from 2011-15, the price noisedived to less than 75 percent from 2015 leading to recession.
“On our part, we made a lot of achievements in infrastructural development and provision of social services because we enjoyed a relatively high oil price of about $100 to $114 per barrel between 2001 and the middle of 2014. However, by the mid-2014, the price of crude oil, which is sadly the main driving force of government’s expenditure, dropped to $75 per barrel.”
The warning as reported by the press, has since attracted mixed reactions from Nigerians, especially economic and industrial stakeholders.
When pressed to offer reasons why journalists were denied access, security officials claimed that the order came from the NGF.
But spokesman of the NGF, Abdulrazaq Barkindo, promptly dismissed the suggestion, saying security officials took the decision on their own.
He said all efforts to get them to reverse the decision failed