By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun yesterday alluded the present economic meltdown in Nigeria to an act of God.
He said that God may have so willed the situation to enable Nigerians adapt to change and new life style, aligning to the country’s current economic model.
Oyegun made the assertion while receiving a 15-member delegation of an APC support group, Change Agents Foundation (CAF) led by its Director-General, Dr. Felix Felix at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.
The APC national chairman said that though the concept of change was a difficult one, Nigerians must be ready to embrace it.
He expressed surprised that the price of crude oil in the international market could drastically fall from $112 per barrel last year to $28 in 2016.
He however stated that Nigeria was lucky to have a man who was committed to self probity and transparency as president at this time.
He “I think God has a hand in the current economic predicament of the country. Imagine the sudden fall in the price of crude oil, the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, from its heights in 2014, averaging $112 per barrel down to the current price of $28 per barrel — lower than the $38 per barrel which the proposed 2016 budget is predicated on. It is an object lesson for us. It tells us that we must embrace radical change in our economic model.
“The concept of change is a difficult one. Nigeria must be ready to adapt to new ways of doing things. As a party, we know and understand it calls for tremendous sacrifice, there is no other way. Yes, the economy is in a bad shape, but maybe that is the kick we need to be innovative and find ways to drive the economy out of the woods.
“The luck we have is that we have as president a man committed to personal probity and sincerity of purpose to the project of developing Nigeria. Today, we must think and be innovative in ways of fashioning out new economic models which diversifies from the present over reliance on oil.
“We are in the process of organising a three-day dialogue which will bring the party, government and stakeholders for an exposition on the realities facing the country, particular the economy. It will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas so that we go home with a clear direction on how to go forward.”
Speaking at the meeting also, the Director-General, Change Agents Foundation (CAF), Dr. Felix Felix congratulated the APC National Chairman for his efforts at the last presidential election thar led the party to victory.
According to him, the anti-corruption fight of the president Mohammadu Buhari led administration had started yielding positive results.
“We are here to identify with you in this success and to say that while achieving success is a difficult thing, sustaining success is even more difficult. It is this realisation that prompted our coming together to form the Change Agents Foundation.
“Our party promised Nigerians Change and this change Nigerians have already started experiencing through the unprecedented simplicity and transparency our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari has brought to governance of Nigeria. The fight against corruption has already started yielding results as looted public funds are being exposed and returned while everybody occupying public office today is conscious of his actions knowing that there would be consequences for any inaction or wrong action”, he said.
The Director-General of Change Agents Foundation requested the National Secretariat of the APC to register the organisation to enable it contribute its quota towards efforts to deliver on the Change Mantra and objectives of the APC.
The 15-member delegation included Dr. Felix Felix; Henry Odili, Engr. Paul Iheayichukwu; Philip Chikwe; Amb. Tony Anucha; Amb. Alban Paulinus; Eze Emeghara; Amb. Prince Uzoka Emeka; Hon. Tubonemi Aggo; Engr. Iroigak Ikann; Iyke Oginah; Chigbo Eligwe; Awu Pereowei Kelvin; Comrade George Jeremiah Oba and Graham Waribo who is the Secretary-General of the group.