Nigerians have the lowest cost of living in Africa, the Presidency declared on Sunday, despite the country’s skyrocketing inflation rate.
Moreover, it stated that President Bola Tinubu’s administration was committed to “solving our economic and security challenges” and acknowledged that his reforms would “usher in an era of prosperity in the medium and long terms, but will cause immediate pains.”
In a signed statement titled “Atiku Abubakar and his new hobby,” Mr. Bayo Onanuga, Special Advisor to the President on Information and Strategy, made these claims.
Following allegations that Tinubu’s economic policies were crushing hopes, inflicting suffering, and inspiring despair among Nigerians, Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party in 2023, made Onanuga’s response.
Atiku contended in a statement he signed on Sunday that President Tinubu’s inadequate handling of the country’s problems was paving the way for a protracted and more severe economic crisis.
“The economy’s performance has been a subject of intense discourse among Nigerian citizens at home and abroad in recent weeks and months,” Atiku stated. Nigerians are understandably extremely concerned that Tinubu’s inadequate handling of the country’s economic problems is creating the conditions for a more serious and protracted internal economic crisis.
His economic plans, which are based on the so-called Renewed Hope Agenda, are paradoxically shattering dreams, inflicting suffering, and inspiring hopelessness. The emasculation of small businesses and the mass exodus of multinational corporations from Nigeria due to economic uncertainty are causing the private sector to diminish daily. The burden of high living expenses has increased the suffering of the impoverished in cities and villages. Because basic necessities like bread are becoming unaffordable for the average Nigerian, there is hunger throughout the country.
“BAT has demonstrated no ability to address the negative and catastrophic effects of the new foreign exchange policy, which allows for a free-floating exchange rate, and the new subsidy regime on the people and businesses. His actions are haphazard, random, and ignorant. Palliatives from BAT are too inhumane, pathetic, and disdainful of the impoverished. He appears to be truly disoriented, perplexed, and overwhelmed.
However, the Presidency refuted Atiku’s claims regarding the rising cost of living, stating, “Recent comparative cost of living indices show that Nigerians still enjoy the lowest cost of living in Africa. His claim that the government’s policies have created intense cost of living pressures is also not grounded on facts.”
It further stated, “Atiku’s claims that the private sector is contracting and that global corporations are abandoning our businesses in droves are not supported by the evidence.”
In essence, the economy “needs a complete overhaul,” and Onanuga stated that the former Vice President “should be honest enough to admit that President Tinubu inherited a weak economy.”
“The statement went on to say that Nigerians are able to discern the hypocrisy of Alhaji Atiku, who, while accusing President Tinubu of failing to address the country’s problems and inflicting suffering and hopelessness, failed to present any more compelling policy alternatives during his presidential campaign that would have diverted from President Tinubu’s agenda for economic reform.”
Reputable local and international organizations that are aware of the circumstances in which the Tinubu administration found itself also praised the administration, noting that it had a clearly positive, realistic, and sustainable policy trajectory.
The Presidency stated that the administration’s critics “cannot stop the serious work of nation-building already set in motion by President Tinubu” because it has also started comprehensive fiscal and tax policy reform, which will promote economic growth and a speedy recovery.
Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, an ex-lawmaker who served as the representative for Obokun State Constituency in the Osun State House of Assembly, has urged opposition parties to refrain from criticizing Tinubu for the rise in violent crimes nationwide.
Speaking in Osogbo on Sunday, Oyintiloye, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Osun, suggested that rather than offering criticism that might divert attention, people should assist Tinubu in his efforts to find a solution to the problem.
“Nobody is happy with the recent killings, kidnappings, banditry, and other criminalities across the nation,” he said. However, the opposition party leaders’ derogatory remarks and slurs are not the solution.
Regardless of our political, religious, or tribal affiliations, we as stakeholders must unite during this crucial time to support and encourage the current administration.
He said, “I am appealing to the leaders of the opposition parties to stop playing cheap politics with security issues and narratives that can divide the country. Security is a collective responsibility of everyone.”