Nigeria’s opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Friday, September 2, 2016, said President Muhammadu Buhari and his finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, are hurting Nigeria’s economy.
The PDP advised the government to focus on fiscal discipline and diversification of the economy.
In a statement e-mailed to The Trent by the party’s new media director, Deji Adeyanju, the PDP said the government was not taking the right steps to save the economy, adding that the Buhari-led administration is paying lips service to issues of fiscal discipline and economy diversification.
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 per cent 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.
“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 Q1 expenditure.”
Adeyanju said that 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) yesterday show that the Buhari administration is doing significant harm to non-oil sectors of the economy,” he said.
“Non oil GDP contracted by -0.38 percent in Q2 2016 from -0.18 percent in Q1 2016 and 3.46 percent in Q2 2015.
“Furthermore, CBN figures show that non-oil export fell by 43.2 percent to $576.97m in Q2 2016.
“As the data shows, even sectors that experienced growth in Q2 have slowed considerably compared to Q1 2016 & Q2 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 Mrs Adeosun’s comments about fiscal discipline are diversification 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.