Reels out recovery remedy options
By Dirisu Yakubu
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Sunday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC, to accept responsibility for the state of the economy which last week, slid into another recession.
The party in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said the report by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, that “our economy has plunged into another recession under the APC confirms our stand that the Buhari Presidency and the APC lack the competence and integrity to run a national economy.”
The statement reads in part: “The report shows that the Buhari administration and the APC have been lying to Nigerians with false performance claims when they know that they have, in a space of five years, wrecked and plundered our economy, which was rated as one of the fastest-growing economies of the world, when they took over from the PDP.
“Indeed, President Buhari will be the first President, in our history, to score a hat-trick, in plunging his nation into economic recession, both as a military and civilian leader.
“The economic recession we face today is a fallout of President Buhari and APC’s restrictive, vindictive and anti-trade policies, bizarre foreign exchange controls and monetary policies that impede growth, an over-bloated public sector that encourages waste and incurable corruption, reckless treasury looting, and failure to decisively deal with the escalated insecurity, which has destroyed economic activities in most parts of our country.
“While the Buhari Presidency pretends to be running a free market economy, it is in reality, running a corrupt exclusionist market economy tailored to serve the interest of a selfish few while frustrating millions of hard-working Nigerians with restrictive policies, lack of access to incentives and support as well as high taxes and levies.
“This has crippled domestic production and competitiveness, eroded investors’ confidence, and occasioned a dearth in foreign direct investment, leading to the economic contraction we have continued to witness under Buhari’s watch.
“President Buhari should end the corruption and divisive tendencies of his administration and allow a free market economy so that more Nigerians will actively participate in the economic space to boost our productive sectors and bring our economy back to its feet.”
According to the main opposition party, “over 60 million hard-working Nigerians have been rendered redundant by the harsh economic policies, including cumbersome protocols and high taxes foisted by the APC administration.
“The failure by the Buhari administration to heed to demands by Nigerians to rejig our security architecture has also worsened the level of insecurity in many parts of our country leading to the closure of millions of businesses, with over 30 million of our farmers abandoning their farmlands, while commercial activities on our trade corridors have been destroyed.
“Besides, our party had cautioned against the increase in fuel price, which has impacted negatively on the disposable incomes of Nigerians. We however insist that poor management and not the high cost of crude oil in the international market is responsible for the high costs of the domestic price of fuel.
“This is because, in its laziness, the Buhari administration failed to put structures in place to boost domestic competitiveness for favourable market forces-induced pricing before the so-called deregulation of the oil sector.
“Also, we note the negative impact of the closure of our borders by the Buhari administration, without encouraging local production, just to create an impression of food sufficiency, when it knows that it has not achieved any improvement in food production.
“If the Buhari Presidency had listened to wise counsel by well-meaning Nigerians, including our party, to end its corruption, lift its restrictive policies, reduce taxes and state-imposed prices, and get more competent hands to tackle insecurity, our nation would not be in this dire strait.
“Moreover, if the over N14 trillion oil money as well as the billions of naira stolen in the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, and other Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs, by APC leaders are recovered and injected into our economy, our nation would not be in such bad shape.
“Nigerians should therefore hold the Buhari Presidency and the APC responsible for the hardship they suffer today. Indeed if the APC administration continues in its corrupt and restrictive market economy, our nation will descend into a huge economic depression.”