THE President Muhammadu Buhari, has said elder statesman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, deserves commendation for the role he played in securing debt relief for Nigeria a few years ago.
Tukur, who once served as Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, was also a one-time National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Buhari said this at the public presentation of a book titled, ‘Legacies of a Legend,’ in honour of Tukur, as part of events marking his 86th birthday, in Abuja, on Thursday.
Buhari was represented at the event by his Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari.
He was quoted as saying, “I recall Bamanga Tukur’s activities with Tony Blair-led Commission for Africa in 2004/2005 and how that led to the 2005 G8 Summit landmark decision on debt cancellation for 32 African countries.
“Prior to that, many poor African countries were using a large portion of their little resources to service debt obligations.
“The benefits of debt cancellation were that many African countries were then able to free up resources which they previously channeled into debt servicing and deployed them into socio-economic and infrastructural projects.
“That explained the fact that shortly after, the fastest growing economy was from Africa which perfectly fueled Africa’s rising narrative.
“To my mind, much credit has not yet been given to the role played by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur in the process. We must recognize that now.”
He expressed sadness that the debt incurred by previous administrations were not channeled appropriately.