Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the House of Representatives, has asked Nigerians to give President Muhammadu Buhari more time.
In an interview on Sunday the lawmaker said President Barack Obama did not pull the US out of recession until a year to the end of his eight-year tenure.
Gbajabiamila said people must understand “where we are coming from” before lamenting over the slow pace of the country’s redemption from the current economic crisis.
“If you look at it objectively, there is a problem and I quite agree with you. But we must understand where we are coming from. Where were we two years ago?” he asked
“We were at the bottom. If there is anything lower than the bottom that was where we were’’.
“Let me use the United States as an example. When Obama came in, he inherited a recession not as bad as this, and that’s a country that functions’’.
“The first year, second, third, fourth, fifth year, into the second term, he didn’t recover – sixth year, it was perhaps a year to the end of his second term, that the United States started getting out of its recession’’.
“But we are asking that something should be done in a country that was in rot, far worse than the US was, in 18 months’’.
“Even if you are a magician, it’s more complicated than that. The president means well for this country. He has advisers who are good. I think we should give him a little more time.”
Gbajabiamila said the situation of things in Nigeria is better than that of neighboring African countries.
“And don’t forget that Nigeria is not isolated. If you look across board to all the other policing countries, you see that we are even doing far better than most of them,” he said.
“But that is not to say that we are happy with where we are. Slow? Yes. But, slow and steady wins the race.”
He added that it was not proper to blame Buhari over the late appointment of ministers, saying: “As of today, even Donald Trump has not appointed his full cabinet”.
When asked about some of the achievements of the current administration, he reeled out, “Treasury single account (TSA), a robust reflated economy in the last two budgets, budget performance, corruption.
“Prior to now budget performance was at a 30%. Even the budget of Jonathan that he inherited, he performed about sixty-seven percent. Right now, budget is at well over 50% performance. It hasn’t been done in Nigeria. He has injected, he has inflated stuff into the economy.”
Gbajabiamila encouraged Nigerians to shun pessimism and be hopeful, “as things would definitely get better”.