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PDP to APC: Stop the blame game, your policies responsible for recession

By Ben Agande
ABUJA — The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has challenged the All Progressives Congress, APC, to provide solution to the worsening economic situation in the country, saying the faulty policies of the present administration, and not the Jonathan government, was responsible for the recession in the country.

In a statement reacting to  the allegation by the Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, that the PDP administration was responsible for the present recession in the country, spokesman of the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said the APC government should stop the blame game and come up with policies that will move the country out of recession.

According to Adeyeye, instances abound where great leaders take over countries at the time of recession or even war and turn the country around.

The statement read: “It is really disappointing that a notable personality as highly placed as a state governor could be drawn into making idle and pedestrian  claims without the benefit of facts.

“It is either he does not realize the obligation of speaking responsibly in that position or he is grossly  ill-informed; in which case, we could only try to put the facts before  him, and hoping he would recognize them.

“In the first place, this blame is misplaced because our elementary  understanding of economics teaches us that the major cause of recession is inflation and poor handling of the economy, given that the higher the rate of inflation, the more impoverished people become, industrial  production and GDP decline resulting in massive job losses.CARTOON

“Perhaps we should quote those who should know and tell Governor Badaru that wrong economic policies of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government  caused the current stagnation and recession in the country.

“We make bold to tell Governor Badaru that Jonathan  and the Peoples Democratic Party government saw this coming since 2011,  and wanted to deregulate the sale of hydrocarbons in 2012, but Badaru and his co-travellers, who are now in the All Progressives Congress, APC,  frustrated the effort.”

“Governor Badaru should know that you can’t plant grapes and harvest  mangoes. It is no secret that the policies and statements made by key government actors have not been business friendly and Nigerians and  foreign business men took their hard currencies out of the country.”

When  professionals were advising the Government to woo investors, characters  like Badaru were busy de-marketing Nigeria all over the world. They  should be reminded that great leaders take over countries either in  recession or war and still succeed in turning them around; quite unlike  the prevailing situation where a Ruling Party plunges the Economy into  an avoidable recession, only to turn round and begin to whine helplessly  like a baby.

“World history is full of many examples where genuine leaders take over  countries whose economies are stagnated and move them to positive  growth.

‘’Like Franklin D. Roosevelt, the President who ruled the United  States from a wheel chair during the time of unprecedented economic  depression and total war, introduced an ambitious programme for relief,

recovery and reform called “the Great Deal”, which began to yield  considerable dividends in weeks and Americans are the better for it  today.

“In his first hundred days in office in 1933, Roosevelt was reputed to  have renewed the American spirit and optimism by immediately addressing  the effects of the depression.

‘’Through the Great Deal, he introduced a  variety of programmes targeted at getting Americans back to work,  provide relief for the vulnerable, get industry and agriculture back on  their feet, and engender accelerated recovery and economic growth. Or,  how about the recent change of government in the United Kingdom where  the new Prime Minister, Theresa May formed her Cabinet within hours to  ensure that the doubts arising from the uncertainty of Brexit Vote do  not get the better of her citizens?

“Badaru and those who still think like him should tell Nigerians the  character of the economic team in place that has been managing the  nation’s economy since 29th of May 2015. This ‘economic management  policy’ of unhealthy propaganda and blaming the previous administration  ceaselessly, will not take us anywhere.

“Will Badaru and his Party men continue to blame Jonathan and the PDP  ‘till 2019 and use Jonathan for the 2019 campaign instead of showing  their scorecard? The good thing is that Nigerians who were being  hoodwinked at first, are now seeing through the deception of this unending blame game. It is on record that one APC governor after his  inauguration for his second tenure publicly announced that he inherited  an empty treasury.

‘’He was quickly reminded that he couldn’t have  inherited empty treasury from himself. This unfortunately, is the face

of the comedy and farce that now characterize governors and governance  in this Country. Any dispassionate assessment of economic performance  under Jonathan would obviously frown at Governor Badaru’s type of  impulsive conclusion without recourse to the strong macroeconomic  fundamentals recorded under Jonathan, which laid the foundation for  meaningful growth.

“In particular, despite interfering global downturn, the overall real  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate stood at an average of 5%, a  growth that was largely driven by the non-oil sector in line with the  success of the diversification effort of the Administration. There is no  doubt that there was obvious improvement in inflation pressure which  stood at a single digit and provided the stability and guarantees needed  for the economy to remain stable.

‘’It actually borders on ignorance to  claim that no cost cutting measures were introduced when the Jonathan  Administration in one sector was able to reduce its food import bill  from well over N1t to N684.7b as at December 2013 and subsequently cut  it further down with improvements in local food production.

‘’Where was  the governor when Jonathan’s Administration embarked on comprehensive  reforms in different sectors towards infrastructural renewal, promotion  of sustainable development and the growth of the Nation’s economy to  become the largest in Africa?

“Did he ever wonder why despite the “signals towards end of 2013 to  2014”, as rightly identified by the Governor to be the beginning of hard  times, the economy remained stable with single digit inflation during  those periods?

“Let Gov. Badaru be reminded that it was because of the milestones  recorded in the local production of rice and other staple food that  ensured robust local supply and remarkable progression which limited the  demand for scarce foreign exchange needed for importation.

‘’We would be  disappointed if the governor was oblivious of what was happening around  him in the area of agricultural revolution; especially, as farmers from  his part of the Country openly expressed their support and gains from  these initiatives.

‘’Again, when he said that “the past leaders did  nothing to stop a looming recession”, we have no choice but rise to put  the facts right. Less we forget when the Senate approved $52 benchmark  for the administration’s last budget at a time Oil was selling for about  $60 and crashing further, the government did not just sit down and watch  events unfold.

‘’Under the leadership of the Finance Ministry, the  administration developed a scenario-based fiscal template with definite  responses designed to track and tackle varying challenges in the  volatility regime.

“We should also remind Badaru that the recent visit of the Facebook  Founder, Mark Zukerberg to the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) in Yaba, Lagos  State, wouldn’t have happened if Jonathan did not have the Vision to set  up the two ICT incubation centers in Lagos and Calabar.

‘’ The former  President built the Centers in support of youth entrepreneurship, just  as he did with other successful youth-focused programmes like the Youth  Enterprise with Innovation, YOUWIN, and the Nagropreneur Initiative that

turned agriculture into an attractive industry for youths.

“Need we remind the Governor that all these were possible because of the  performance contract model Jonathan developed for his ministers where  key performance indicators (KPI) were jointly agreed and signed against  which each minister’s measurable effectiveness was benchmarked?

“In view of the above submissions, it is clear that the current economic  recession in the Country was not caused by previous PDP’s Administration  or leaders but due to the poor management of Nigeria’s economy, lack of  vision and incompetence of the present APC’s led Federal Government that  drove Nigerians into this avoidable life threatening quagmire.

“Finally, we want to therefore advise the Government of the day to stop  the blame game and look inward towards resolving the recession by  inviting economic experts irrespective of their political leaning to  join hands with the Administration at these trying times.”





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