Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Journalists barred from NGF induction after report on recession

Journalists have been barred from continued coverage of the ongoing induction programme for newly-elected and returning governors. They were refused entry into the state house conference centre in Abuja, the programme venue, when they arrived on Tuesday morning.

The decision was reached after it was reported that Governor Yari of Zamfara state and chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), predicted that the country would suffer a recession again.

Both the governors and the organisers were said to be unhappy over the report which emanated from the event on Monday, The Cable reports.

While addressing incoming governors on Monday, Yari had said that they should be prepared for a possible recession. He had recalled that the recession Nigeria suffered recently was as a result of the reduction in the price of crude oil by up to 75%.

“On our part, we made a lot of achievements in infrastructural development and provision of social services because we enjoyed a relatively high oil price of about $100 to $114 per barrel between 2001 and the middle of 2014,” he had said.

“However, by the mid-2014, the price of crude oil, which is sadly the main driving force of government’s expenditure, dropped to $75 per barrel. It, therefore, became very difficult for many states to even pay salaries of their workers.

“This scenario is a wake-up call for all of you to come amply prepared to face these kinds of challenges, especially since we are expecting the possibility of another cycle of recession by mid-2020 and which may last up to third quarter of 2021. Your good spirit of stewardship will make you contain the situation should there be one.”

At the continuation of the programme on Tuesday, journalists — with exception of the NTA crew — were refused access to the venue.

The security officials at the premises claimed the order to refuse journalists entry was from the NGF.

However, Abdulrazaq Barkindo, the forum’s spokesman, denied the claim saying security officials took the decision on their own accord.

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