THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of doing significant harm to the economy. The main opposition party said that the All Progressives Congress, APC-led federal government could not rescue Nigeria from economic recession.
Deji Adeyanju, media director of the PDP, who made the allegation in a statement on Friday, September 2, declared that the government was not taking the right steps to save the economy. He described the statement of Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, that the government would bring Nigeria out of recession through fiscal discipline and diversification as empty rhetoric.
“Yesterday, the minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun stated that the Muhammadu Buhari administration will focus on two policies to remove Nigeria from recession – fiscal discipline and diversification. Firstly, we believe a recession is not reversed by diversification. A recession is reversed by implementing a stimulus package designed to cut taxes, reduce the cost of doing business and boost spending on infrastructure and other critical sectors of the economy.
“Available data shows that the Buhari administration has spent a meager 19 percent of the allocation for CAPEX in budget 2016. This sort of spending will not make any sort of impact on the economy. Assuming, but not conceding that Adeosun is right, the challenge is the past 15 months show that despite the glib talk the Buhari administration is doing neither.
“For instance, despite claims of weeding out ghost workers from the payroll and reducing the civil service wage bill, Nigeria’s wage bill increased from N1.65 trillion in 2014 to N1.83 trillion and N1.71 trillion in 2015 and 2016 respectively. These figures represent a combined total increase of N240 billion from the wage bill in 2014.
“Two days ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, released its economic report for second quarter of 2016 which showed that the federal government incurred N1.09 trillion deficits for the quarter. This deficit was 96 percent higher than the N555.49 billion allowed. Total expenditure for this period stood at N1.76 trillion, surpassing the provisional quarterly budget estimate by 12.8 percent, representing a 58.1 percent increase of the first quarter expenditure.”
According to Adeyanju, the figures showed an abject lack of fiscal discipline in the management of the nation’s finances by the Buhari administration. “On diversification, GDP figures released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, NBS, show that the Buhari administration is doing significant harm to non-oil sectors of the economy.
“Non oil GDP contracted by -0.38 percent in second quarter of 2016 from -0.18 percent in first quarter of 2016 and 3.46 percent in second quarter of 2015. Furthermore, CBN figures show that non-oil export fell by 43.2 percent to $576.97 million in second quarter of 2016.
“As the data shows, even sectors that experienced growth in second quarter have slowed considerably compared to first quarter of 2016 and second quarter of 2015. As these figures show, the Buhari administration is just paying lip service to the issue of diversification and it is in fact worsening the non-oil sectors of the economy.
“These figures also show that Adeosun’s comments about fiscal discipline are empty rhetoric. We reiterate our position that this government is out of depth and is incapable of reversing the economic recession into which they have plunged our nation.”
Earlier, the PDP had asked Buhari to resign for allegedly destroying the economy.
— Sep 12, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT