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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of lacking in basic ideas and fiscal discipline to resolve the country’s current economic problems.
The party’s director in charge of New Media, Deji Adeyanju, in a statement yesterday, faulted the announcement by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, that the Muhammadu Buhari administration would focus on two policies: fiscal discipline and diversification, to bring Nigeria out of economic recession.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has meanwhile reacted, faulting PDP’s criticism and call for the president’s resignation over the economy.
The minister who spoke at a forum with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on yesterday in Abuja said: “I read in the dailies that the PDP said the President must resign because of the economy.
“While we are not going to indulge in blame game, I think we should also be honest enough to admit that we will not have been where we are today if they had done what they ought to do.
“For the party to ask the President to resign is just a big joke.’’
But according to Adeyanju: “Available data show that the Buhari administration has spent a meagre 19 per cent of the allocation for Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) in the 2016 budget. This sort of spending will not make any sort of impact on the economy.”
The statement continued: “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 Federal Government incurred a N1.09trillion deficit for the quarter. This deficit was 96% 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 per cent, representing a 58.1 per cent increase of the Q1 expenditure.
“These figures show an abject lack of fiscal discipline in the management of the nation’s finances by the Buhari administration.
“On diversification, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Thursday showed that the Buhari administration is doing significant harm to non-oil sectors of the economy.
According to Adeyanju, some of those figures showed that non -oil GDP contracted by -0.38% in Q2 2016 from -0.18% in Q1 2016 and 3.46% in Q2 2015.”
The PDP further noted that, “as the data show, even sectors that experienced growth in Q2 have slowed considerably compared to Q1 2016 & Q2 2015. So, the Buhari administration is just paying lip service to the issue of diversification and is in fact, worsening the non-oil sectors of the economy.
Describing Adeosun’s comments about fiscal discipline and diversification as empty and mere rhetoric, the PDP declared: “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.”
The minister, at the same NAN forum, however, allayed the fears of Nigerians over the National Bureau of Statistic’s data which indicate that the country is on economic recession, insisting that the Federal Government is in control of the situation.