Muhammadu Buhari, former Nigerian military ruler and presidential candidate for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) speaks during an interview with Reuters at a private residence in Lagos February 19, 2011. Buhari, the main opposition candidate in Nigeria's presidential election, said he was optimistic it would be a more credible race than in the past but warned events in north Africa showed people would no longer accept a rigged vote. Picture taken February 19, 2011. To match Interview NIGERIA-BUHARI/ REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye (NIGERIA - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT)
The Presidency on Sunday said the Federal Government’s Economic team is strong and competent enough to carry out its duties.

The assertion was made by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande in Abuja.

Akande was reacting to the allegation in some quarters that the country has remained in recession due to poor handling of the economy by officials.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic team was composed of competent and tested people with significant private sector experiences.

He said, “The major problem of Nigeria economy is a problem of vandalism of our oil installations and also the drop in the prices in the international oil market.

“Look at what we have been able to do in spite of all these problems. In spite of the drop in revenue we have paid out almost N800 billion for infrastructure, for capital projects, more than what was budgeted for last year.

”As a matter of fact, If you go and compare it, I am sure that you will find out that the last couple of years it is the highest that has been paid for capital expenditure in recent years.

“We have almost paid about N735 billion or thereabout. Because we understand infrastructure must play mostly a leading role, if you look the way we have spent our resources in the last several years.’’

He pointed out that in the past when the country earned more from oil, most of the budget went into recurrent expenditure with less attention to capital projects.

“When Nigeria had money, selling oil for over 115 dollars, when we should have developed infrastructure, this did not happen.

“But now that money is hard, we are spending more on infrastructure. That should tell you that we have a capable team”, he said.