In his farewell speech on Sunday morning, President Muhammadu Buhari apologized for specific economic policies implemented during his administration that resulted in hardship for Nigerians.
“We made some difficult choices,” the Nigerian leader said before apologizing for some of the negative impacts of the policies.
While he noted that most of the tough choices “yielded the desired results,” he said, “Some of the measures led to temporary pain and suffering for which I sincerely apologized to my fellow countrymen, but the measures were taken for the overall good of the country.”
According to Mr. Buhari, the Nigerian economy has exhibited increased resilience due to implementing various strategies to sustain it during global economic downturns.
“You would all recall the supply chain disruptions and economic downturn that the world witnessed between 2020 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The deftness of our response to the pandemic still remains a global best practice,” the president said.
“Young men and women in urban centers were also supported to put their skills into productive use. Our administration also provided an enabling environment for the private sector to engage in businesses for which their return on investments is guaranteed,” Mr. Buhari said.
President Buhari acknowledged the private sector’s strong partnership in building a resilient economy marked by numerous turn-key projects. However, during his eight-year administration, key development areas have suffered, as poverty, inflation, and unemployment reached record levels.
Policies like the Anchor Borrowers Program and TraderMoni faced allegations of mismanagement, while the N-Power Program failed to significantly reduce youth unemployment. Nigeria’s poverty rate increased to 63%, and the recent naira redesign policy implementation led to widespread chaos and protests.