Former Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has stated that former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s second tenure was the most successful in terms of economic development, job creation, and inflation rate in Nigeria.
Obasanjo served as the country’s fourth republic’s first democratically elected president from 1999 until 2007.
El-Rufai, who served as a minister under Obasanjo, stated that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, achieved economic success during his second tenure, which lasted from 2003 to 2007.
Nigeria, according to the former governor, returned to “proper integrated planning and we also got lucky” at the time.
He stated this on Friday at a session at the Africa In the World conference in Stellenbosch, South Africa, as he emphasized the need of effective planning in assisting any country’s economic success.
“We have a planning commission in Nigeria, but it has not been very effective.”
“If you look at Nigeria’s economic trajectory, the most successful four to five-year period of economic growth, job creation, and reduced inflation was the period of President Obasanjo’s second term in 2003 to 2007, when the country went back into proper integrated planning for the first time, and we also got lucky,” he said.
“Oil prices began to rise, but we did not squander the windfall as planned.” We had an excess crude account (ECA) based on the fiscal norm that all surpluses over a specific benchmark price of crude oil go to that savings account.
“As a result, we were able to pay off all of our foreign debt.”
According to El-Rufai, Nigeria’s fiscal vigor was at its peak in 2007, such that when the global financial crisis hit in 2008, “Nigeria did not feel anything.”
“Nothing was felt in Nigeria because we had a big savings account; we had huge reserves and we were able to absorb the shock without any internal problems, unlike most countries,” he explained.