Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign promises were based on $100 per barrel oil, adding that current realities will make the government downsize its promises.
However, contrary to Mohammed’s claims, the All Progressives Congress (APC) kicked of its full presidential campaign in November 2014, when oil sold at $79 per barrel.
In February 2015, while APC was still campaigning, oil sold for $54 a barrel.
“We are in a completely different situation from that which we envisaged. We did not in our wildest dreams think that the price of crude will crash from about $100 to $30,” the minister said on a Channels television programme, Politics Today.
“This is only a challenge; we have faced similar things before. One of the major economic focus is to ensure that by the end of this year, we would have achieved import substitution in many sectors.
“When you campaign, you say you wllll do A, B, C, but, when you win election, you will priotise. We were elected for a four-year period, not for one year. Things, we hope, will not be bad all through these four years.
“We are still faithful to those promises, but, when we were campaigning, the price of crude was $100 a barrel. Today, it is $30 a barrel, so, definitely, we would have to downsize some of the things we intended to do or prioritize them.”
The minister, who claimed he does not speak for the APC but for the government of the day, said Buhari’s anti-graft war has not been one-sided. He said corruption exists in every party.
“It would be wrong of me to start mentioning names of members of party A or party B that have been accused of corruption. But, if you pay more attention, and see those who are coming and going out of court, you will know which parties they belong to.
“One thing is clear, corruption in Nigeria cuts across religion, cuts across ethnicity; cuts across political parties. Having said this, we do not micromanage anti-graft agencies,” Mohammed said.
“I am in government and I can tell you authoritatively that this government does not tell Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who to arrest and who not.”