The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has pointed out that Nigeria’s economy is in deeper trouble than the Federal Government, controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC) is willing to admit
“The citizens’ level of misery hasn’t changed, and the reasons are obvious: first, the key sectors of the economy, notably agriculture, oil and gas (the country’s cash cow) and manufacturing (that contributes to jobs), are either growing slowly or declining.
“Second, unabated are rising commodity prices occasioned by high energy and transportation costs (and aggravated by the disorderliness in the foreign exchange market).
“Also, debt levels continue to rise while the fiscal capacity to service its debts is declining. All these are enough to erase the perceived gains from output growth.
“Having run out of ideas, it appears that our unprecedented level of indebtedness is whetting the government’s appetite for more debt. This is a recipe for macroeconomic instability.
“We challenge the National Bureau of Statistics to share with the public their recent statistics on poverty, unemployment and commodity prices — the reality of which will leave no hope for the common man.
“Like I have said before, increasing debts will never be a solution to our indebtedness. My government, if elected, will halt the rate of debt accumulation and instead focus on private-public partnerships in financing development.
“Also is the consideration of a government of national unity that will douse the temperature, unite Nigerians and pave the way for improved security. Improved security allows for investments and, therefore, an improved economy. Also targeted tax rebates to attract foreign and local investments, amongst other proactive measures to attract investments to grow the economy”.
Only on Monday, Finance and National Planning Minister, Dr Zainab Ahmed said that Nigeria would borrow over N11 trillion and sell national assets to finance the budget deficit for 2023.
Two weeks ago, the Minister told the House of Representatives’ ad-hoc committee investigating petroleum subsidy regime that the country spends N18.397 billion per day on petrol subsidy payments.