The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said President Muhammadu Buhari administration is doing significant harm to the economy and that he cannot rescue Nigeria from economic recession.
This was made known in a statement on Friday, signed by PDP media director, Deji Adeyanju. The statement said the government was not taking the right steps to save the economy. He described the statement of Kemi Adeosun, finance minister, that the government would bring Nigeria out of recession through fiscal discipline and diversification as ’empty rhetoric’.
“Yesterday, the minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, stated that the Muhammadu Buhari administration will focus on two policies to remove Nigeria from recession (fiscal discipline and diversification),” Adeyanju said.
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 & other critical sectors of the economy.
Available data shows that the Buhari administration has spent a meagre 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 Mrs 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 N1.65tr in 2014 to N1.83tr and N1.71tr in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
These figures represent a combined total increase of N240bn from the wage bill in 2014.
Two days ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released its economic report for Q2 2016 which showed that the FG incurred a N1.09tr deficit for the quarter. This deficit was 96 percent higher than the N555.49b allowed.
Adeyanju said that the figures showed ‘an abject lack’ of fiscal discipline in the management of the nation’s finances by the Buhari administration.