By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE Presidency, yesterday, took a swipe at former Vice President and Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, over his comment that the 2019 Appropriation Bill presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari is a flawed document.
The Presidency said the criticism by PDP’s Presidential candidate on recession was an indication that Abubakar does not understand the meaning of recession and that his comment on the budget was a poor attempt at playing to the gallery.
In a statement in Abuja, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, said: “Regrettably, that Atiku Abubakar offered no substantive and workable solution to the identified realities.
“Atiku describes the underlying assumptions of the budget as generous, wild and untenable but does not propose alternative assumptions that would have been more appropriate. He argues that the economy is yet to recover from the 2016/2017 recession.
“Unfortunately, he cannot create his own definition of an economic recession, which is a technical term with a universally applicable meaning. When an economy experiences two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, it is said to be in recession and whenever it returns to positive GDP growth of whatever rate, it is said to have exited recession. It is doubtful if he understands the simple meaning of recession.
“Atiku attributes the sustained accretion to foreign reserves to ‘increases in international prices of Brent Crude and foreign borrowing.’ But he conveniently forgets that under the immediate past federal administration, oil prices were at an all-time high with substantial growth in foreign borrowings, and yet foreign reserves nose-dived from a peak of $62billion to as low as $24bn.”