The former Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, has criticized the performance of the Muhamadu Buhari administration, particularly with regards to economic and social growth.
Backstory: Ezekwesili opined in a Channels Television interview on Thursday that Nigerians have become poorer in the last four years.
According to Ezekwesili:
- “The economy is a complete disaster. What has happened since this government came into office has been a decline.”
- “First, we went into recession and went into -1. 8% GDP growth. Then we came out of it at 0.8% growth, then we climbed into 2.38 (and) now we are at 2.01. So, what it means is that as these lower levels of GDP growth rate are going on and our population (growth) rates are steady at above 2% – almost 3%, we actually are getting poorer.”
- “We are in serious trouble. If we were to be a publicly quoted company, we would have been put up for a special team to undertake a rescue operation on us,” she said.
- “Do you understand what it means for us to have near 25 percent unemployment rate in the country; for more than 40 percent of our young people to be unemployed?”
She stressed the importance of having the right economic policies, saying:
- “Economic policy has to signal immediately to the market that we will be a government that enables and support the private sector to do what it must do, while we will invest in the most important area of human development, health and education because we need a productive citizenry.”
Supporting Ezekwesili’s argument: Her interview comes two days after Buhari’s inauguration for a second term and just one day after The Economist magazine published an article in which it said the Nigerian economy “is stuck like a stranded truck.” Average incomes have fallen for four years and will likely not rise for at least another six (years); unemployment has also increased for 15 consecutive quarters; up to 94 million people live on less than $1.90, etc. Forbes magazine also published a piece titled, ‘Nigeria has become Africa’s money losing machine‘ in which it pointed out – among other things – that “equity investment between 2013 and 2018 has fallen from around $2.9 billion in 2013 to just $139 million in 2018.”