Abuja, By Chibuzo Ukaibe
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said Nigeria’s status as largest economy in Africa has declined since President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) assumed office in the last three months.
The party added that the shambolic state of the nation’s economy within the period, which represents the worst in the nation’s contemporary history, is a direct fallout of uncertainty created by the inability of the Buhari-led government to chart a clear-cut economic policy, which is worsened by abuse of regulations, and flagrant violation of constitutional provisions.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Saturday, added that instead of gains, official reports showed that the last three months under the APC-led government had witnessed a sudden decline in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with attendant losses and hardship to the citizens, while the government embarks on propaganda of imaginary achievements, in addition to attempts to foist harsh economic regime to cover its ineptitude.
“If not for crass incompetence or a possible ulterior motive to subjugate Nigerians for selfish reasons, what else explains the adamant stance of this administration in running a government without the statutory components of a full cabinet and precise fiscal policy direction, even when the negative consequences of this strange totalitarian approach are taking serious toll on the economy and the polity in general?
“Whereas the APC led government is busy with its propaganda of imaginary achievements, official reports from the National Bureau of Statistics show that that the economy is being grounded with Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) plunging with about 2.35%, while job creation has dropped by 69 percent.
“In the last three months under an inept and poorly coordinated APC-led government, our nation’s economy, which before now, held the record as the largest in Africa and one of the fastest growing in the world, suddenly plummeted as officially evidenced in the lull in the capital and money market sectors which have lost billions of naira; spiral rate of inflation, and stagnation in domestic and foreign direct investments, with investors scared away due to the uncertainty arising from lack of economic direction and apparent confusion in the polity.
“This is in addition to the halt in infrastructure development projects in most parts of the country with associated massive job loss, closure of auxiliary small scale businesses, low purchasing power of citizens, among other negatives that have bedeviled the economy since the coming of this government, despite the much APC celebrated promissory notes from the President’s diplomatic shuttles, especially his recent visit to the United States.
“Nigerians would recall that we recently raised alarm on the negative consequences of the recent foreign exchange transaction restrictions, wherein this government is making it impossible for honest Nigerians to engage in free trade and regulate their personal activities as guaranteed by the constitution.
“We also warned about the consequences of foisting a communist economic regime with bans and clampdowns on free trade and the freedom of Nigerians to freely open and operate domiciliary accounts as provided by the Foreign Exchange Monitoring And Miscellaneous Provisions Act, otherwise known as Decree No. 17 of 1995 and wondered whether the nation was not heading back to the era of import duty licenses and regulation of commodity prices.
“Only recently, Fitch Rating, which, under the previous administration, affirmed Nigeria’s long-term foreign and local currency IDRs as well as senior unsecured bond and Short-term foreign currency IDR ratings respectively at ‘BB”s, had now alerted that Nigerian banks and other businesses in the sector would be adversely affected by the economic slowdown occasioned by the incompetence of the President Buhari-led APC government.
“This is more so as the absence of ministers have left the coordination of important government policies in ministries, departments and agencies in tatters, while creating loopholes for overzealous persons claiming closeness to the President to invade the system for inflated concessions, allocations, jobs and other financial sleazes, including misleading the President for approvals outside his limits.
“We invite Nigerians to note that whereas the Presidency has gone ahead to unilaterally deplete the funds inherited in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and other government savings, as well as reports of engaging in discussions with the World Bank for loans without recourse to appropriate statutory arms of government, no corresponding improvement has been witnessed in the economy. Indeed, we are worried that the damage already done in the last 90 days may linger with us for years to come.
“Nigerians are no longer in doubt that they have been scammed with long list of empty promises which the APC government has no intentions or capacity to fulfill. The free meals for school children, allowances for discharged Corps Members, N5,000 monthly allowance for indigent Nigerians, free houses, bringing the dollar to the same value as the naira and other bogus promises for which they were voted into power, have become streams of mirage.
Instead, what we continue to witness is the outworn excuse of clearing the so-called Augean Stable, loud propaganda and artful move to appropriate the achievements made by the PDP-led administration; such as the effort in ending polio, the improvement in power supply, the reopening of the refineries, among others which are a dividend from numerous investments by the previous administrations.
“Finally, we state categorically that Nigerians are becoming tired and weary of the diversions and propaganda of creating imaginary achievements, dramatization of routine appointments, offering mundane excuses for crass incompetence and orchestrating a selective and witch-hunt of anti-corruption crusade.
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