PDP alleges neglect of economy by Buhari
FROM the camp of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came yesterday advice that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration should pay urgent attention to management of the nation’s economy, which it alleged has been on rapid fall in the last four months.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday said: “Whereas the PDP is in full support of President Buhari’s efforts in tackling corruption and insurgency, the party is however concerned about the grave economic situation we now face, as well as indices from global economic watchers, which this administration has failed to give deserving attention, despite its predictable negative impact.”
The opposition PDP said as a responsible party, it is duty-bound, beyond politics, to draw the President’s attention to the fact that under the prevailing circumstances, the nation is evidently heading to economic doldrums.
The statement reads in parts: “Mr. President, this is no longer about politics and partisanship. It is about the economy of our dear nation and the wellbeing of the Nigerian citizens.
“Recall that we have severally, in the past, drawn attention to official reports showing that the unemployment situation in the country as well as inflation rate are growing at frightening dimensions, let alone the continued decline in domestic and direct foreign investments, all due to uncertainty created by the lack of economic direction of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.
“The situation has become even of utmost concern following the failure of this administration to articulate any interventionist policy at this critical moment, when credible global economic monitors have continued to predict that oil price may fall as low as $20 per barrel.”
According to PDP, “it is worrisome that whilst other countries are taking deliberate steps to enhance their investment profiles and hedge their economies at this time, the APC-led Federal Government has done nothing in that direction, but has centered on partisan politics and witch-hunt of perceived opponents, while the economy remains vulnerable and unattended to.”
Disturbed by what it called unsatisfactory attitude to governance, the PDP said:
“We caution strongly that this approach to governance is not healthy for our nation. Indeed, the time has come for Mr. President to end the apparent lethargy in his administration and take urgent step to set up a crack economic team of experts to immediately swing into action and salvage the situation by opening up all economic outlets, which have been stagnated in the last four months.”
The party advised that in managing the economy at this time, Mr. President, as the father of the nation, should look beyond partisan politics and ensure that the policy frameworks and populist economic projects claimed to have been initiated by the PDP administration, especially in the non-oil sectors, are not allowed to rot, but adequately utilised for the good of all.
“In this regard, therefore, we wish to draw attention to various agricultural projects and programmes established by the PDP, especially in the northern states, such as various dams and irrigation projects, the e-wallet financial empowerment system to farmers, associated to the over two million direct farm jobs, as well as the Green Belt project under Presidential Initiative on Aforestation in Kano and 10 other northern states, all in line with PDP’s agenda to return the region as the food basket of the nation.
“The PDP believes that in the interest of millions of Nigerians citizens who look up to the political class for direction, it is now imperative on the APC-led Federal Government to pay deserving attention to the economy and continue the policy of the past administration of opening the space for harnessing indigenous potentials,” PDP said.
The party promised to remain committed to providing credible and robust alternatives and views to government policies and programmes, in the general interest and wellbeing of the Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the APC has described the PDP’s rambling statement on the nation’s economy as part of the opposition’s ploy to distract the Buhari administration from its onerous task of putting the nation on a sound footing.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the PDP’s statement was a litany of delusional self praise, rather than a genuine concern about the nation’s well being.
“The question the PDP should ask itself is that if it had laid a solid foundation for the economy in its 16 years in charge, could such a foundation have given way in just three months of a new administration?”