Lai Mohammed Clarifies Comment on Economy being Out of Control

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has clarified that his comment on the economic situation being out of the control of President Muhammadu Buhari was misrepresented.

He was reacting to a story in THISDAYLIVE of this Saturday, March 12th 2016 entitled ”Economy Gone Out of Buhari’s Control, Says Lai Mohammed”.

This was contained in a statement by Mr. Segun Adeyemi, Mohammed’s Special Assistant (SA) on Information and Culture.

Although he described the report as a “complete misrepresentation of the comments” made by the minister, with Lai Mohammed denying making them, a playback of the recorded interview shows Mohammed said the situation was beyond the government’s control – considering the various forces at play.

“It is pertinent to state that at no time during the entire two-hour (radio) programme did the Honourable Minister say or suggest that the economy has gone out of the President’s control,” the SA’s statement said.

“Honourable Minister’s comments on the economy during the programme goes thus: ”Again, we have not been very fortunate with our economy in the sense that we came in at a time when there is global collapse in the prices of commodities ranging from oil.

”Unfortunately for us, we have inherited an economy where the mainstay of the economy, crude oil, crashed from an all high of $100 to about $30 and that of course means that automatically the source of our foreign exchange was affected. 80 percent of our foreign
exchange used to come from crude. Today we have lost 70 percent of that amount so that is the major reason.”

“While indeed this Administration inherited a disastrous economy, it has decided to turn the disaster into blessing by diversifying the economy away from oil, thus widening its base and weaning the country of its addiction to oil.

However, the relevant portion of the statement from where our story derived is somewhat different. Below is the excerpt beginning with the question by the interviewer.

Q: The free fall of the Naira in the last three weeks has been very discomforting and a lot of people are asking a lot of questions and some people even say wow, it has never been so bad. Has government been able to discover (the source of) this untoward development?

Lai Mohammed: I think it is clear why the naira is today in a free fall. You see, what are the factors that determines the exchange of the naira? It is your export and import; your trade balance and the general economy. Unfortunately we have not been fortunate in any of these, which is about 70 percent of all our total earnings. Before now, oil was selling for about N100 per barrel; today it is about N30 per barrel. And if you look at the cost of production, it has remained about the same.

We have lost about 70 percent of all our income and not only was oil responsible for all our income, it was also responsible for about 90 percent of all our foreign exchange, which makes between 90 -80 percent of our source of foreign exchange.

And naturally there will be more pressure on the Naira and less dollars and more naira chasing the dollars and now look at the balance of trade – it is negative. What do we do with trading and how much did we buy from Britain, for instance, and how they buy from us,. Unfortunately, it is negative. We take more from them than they take from us. If a country suddenly loses about 80 percent for its source of forex, clearly that currency will be in trouble.

The only way out is what the government is doing, which is strengthening the economy, diversifying it, plugging all the loopholes and making sure that only the essential things are imported. It will be extremely difficult, no doubt, but we are also in a state of emergency economically. You see, take for instance, your earnings reduced from N100 to N30 per month, something will have to give way…like relocating to a smaller house and I mean this is a reality.

The fact that the government is even still managing this situation, I give credit to the government, because the situation is completely beyond their control, and this is where people have been mischievous…

Today we live in a global community, Nigeria cannot determine the price of oil or gas. And that is why the presiident has gone spending countless nights lobbying, rallying other oil-exporting countries on how do we stabilize the oil price….

The programme was aired on FRCN’s Radio Link

  • Drake Solo

    When you talk rubbish non stop, you are bound to.make mistakes that make you look stupid, fire on Lai Mohammed.

    • Hey, what’s your problem here? is Mr Liar helping issues in the country? are you also brainless?

      • NaijaMindOfChange

        Guy u re an idiot….sorry, u refuse to learn…who is the pass ministers dat did better Dan HMLC?

        • front man

          Please help me ask him

      • front man

        He lost his brain during BH attacked

    • front man

      You must be stupid for this rubbish comment of yours are above mistake
      People like you don’t grow up

    • woman leader

      What is your problem with this trash you posted here, you keep mute if you do not have anything in that your brain

  • CousinBrother

    I declare that the interview is INCONCLUSIVE!

    • Issei

      Hahahah diaris God ooooh

  • osezuwa

    Liar will always be a liar. Liar Mohammed is causing more harm than good to the clueless and directionless administration of buhari.

    • woman leader

      Idiot did you comment here when your clueless Jonathan gave free hands to corruption

      • osezuwa

        Moron. U support an illiterate to govern you. Bastard

        • woman leader

          You are a fool

    • front man

      Shut up scum

      • osezuwa

        You are bastard like your paymaster liar Mohammed. Make your comment and express your opinion. It’s a free world fool

        • front man

          Biafrat monkey I’m not like you
          Your paid masters brainwashed you so Tay you forget your name

  • Moses Okeafor

    Lie or lai muhammed always quote out of content because he always defend panadol.

    • woman leader

      Trash from you

    • front man

      Please get sense nah

  • onyedelta

    Its a common fact that the economy is out of control . Nothing to hide here

  • ParallaxSnap

    Mr Lai Mohammed, we heard you the first time. Loud and clear.

    • Mickey

      Lol

    • woman leader

      Lol

    • front man

      Lol

  • Alan Fagbohungbe

    It is disheartening that a particular expression that is a part of a whole is being deliberately twisted and isolated from the whole just to make it take a different meaning and thereby ridicule the individual. The economy being out of control of a sitting government that is only10 month old is preposterous, of course all the gleeful commentators above know that is basically the truth but that does not mean the government will not rein in the economy as soon as possible. We are all in this together if what some people want to engage in is to run this government down, I will let them know that the only gain they’ll reap is to remain stagnant whilst the country moves forward. They’ll be too preoccupied with their negativity to notice when the country would have left them behind to wallow in their warped prejudices.

    • Kunle Taylor

      God bless u ma person…some ppleare plain dumbskulls!!

  • James Gunn

    What an incompetent bunch of buffoons. Liar Mohammed. Always lying and twisting and telling stories. Kai!!

    • woman leader

      Shut up scum

      • James Gunn

        Shut up imbecile!

    • front man

      Scum

      • James Gunn

        Moron

        • front man

          Monkey

        • front man

          Are you still searching for your sense

  • Paul Graham

    If it’s out of government control, oga Lai the buck stops on the President’ table. Why talk dumb in the first place , Nigerians ain’t dumb. If overwhelmed by the job, simply quit instead of double talking!

  • C3kwe

    Liar Mohammed doing what he does best, twisting and spinning. The chief propagandist. No wonder that the international community are now not taking you serious. Comical Ali.

    • james_grim_teacher

      Thisday twisted facts and I think they shoukd get punished. It will be subtle, very legal but very damaging. This is a newspaper that would delete comments critical of Jonathan government a year ago now playing social critic and defender of the economy
      If I were this government I will make sure they go out of business without doing anything illegal. Have they paid correct taxes, how much are they owing the bank, what of Dasuki money?

      • C3kwe

        Bloody hell, James that was KGB school of politics.

    • front man

      Why did you like to deceive yourself and your fellow
      Useless paid pdp e rat

  • Owaikhena

    The truth is, based on what is published here, Lai didn’t say what This day published. You may kill my comments because of this

  • james_grim_teacher

    PDP supporters can claim consolation out ifo the out of context twisting of what the MOI said or not said. APC has eight years to fix what PDP damaged in 16 years and they will. We are seeing the kind of lack of patriotism by a familiar bunch of looters, a familiar bunch of losers… but the FG should remain unfazed and determined.
    They will never, ever get a Biafra so they will try to confuse a Nigeria.

  • Toby

    Liar Mohammed doesn’t know the difference between naira and dollar. Please note that global crude oil is transacted in dollar not naira. Check your transcript.

    • woman leader

      Please tell us the difference Mr over sabi

      • Toby

        In the multitude of words sin is not lacking. Lai Mohammed talks too much. International currency of trade is dollar not naira. That’s the difference madam. You couldn’t see that in the earlier post.

  • LagLon

    you have two pilots on a plane.. both are bad. one is in the cockpit and the other in at the back as a passenger. the plane gets into difficulty.. do you change pilots?

  • Original_Raskal

    Is Forex control now part of economy? Don’t name your child a liar! Hahaha!