In its rejoinder to former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s attack on Tuesday, the federal government emphasized what it considered as its achievements in revamping the economy.
“Today, most of the indices by which an economy is measured are looking up… This administration is making steady progress in its determined effort to revamp the economy, and the results are showing,” said Lai Mohammed, the minister of information.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has dismissed the FG’s purported achievements, describing them as “cooked up”, “half-truths” and “unhelpful.”
According to the PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, there are several things which the government glossed over or ignored in its response:
– The claim by the FG that it brought the economy out of recession was described by the PDP as “executive rascality” when the “glaring reality shows skyrocketing costs, soaring unemployment rate, unabating closure of businesses as well as accumulation of foreign and domestic debts.”
– The claim by the FG of growing the foreign reserves to $40 billion was an attempt to cover up the fact presented by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that our “foreign debt has also escalated to $15.2bn under APC’s misrule.”
– The FG’s claim that inflation rate has fallen to 15.37% attempted to hide the fact that inflation rate as at May 2015, when it took over from the PDP was 13.7%. The PDP said that 15.37% was a terrible figure as evidenced by the soaring cost of commodities.
– The FG’s claim that the Naira had stabilised at N360/$1 was an attempt to gloss over the fact that it fell from the 2015 rate of $165/$1.
– The PDP also argued that the FG did not tell Nigerians about the country’s domestic debt profile which has “scared many contractors off their sites and forced millions of Nigerians into the labour market.”
– According to the PDP, the APC-led FG has stagnated development projects initiated by the PDP across the nation.
– The FG “also failed to inform Nigerians that other foreign financial instruments are being depleted, including the Excess Crude Account (ECA), from which they attempted to pilfer $1bn last year.”
– The PDP dismissed the FG’s “phony claim” that foreign capital inflow into the country has increased to $1.8 billion, saying that NBS data shows that “16 million Nigerians are unemployed, 18 million more are underemployed while another 27.44 million refused to work in 2016 for various reasons not unrelated to frustration in the polity.”