The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has alleged that Nigeria was in dire straits and fast grinding to a halt under President Bola Tinubu and his All Progressives Congress (APC).
This is just as the Vice President Kashim Shettima, on Monday admitted that Nigeria was in a difficult economic situation.
Delaring his party’s position on current situation of the country, Debo Ologunagba, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP in a statement lamented that Nigeria was on the edge of a precipice under the Tinubu-led APC government. It said the administration lacked the acceptability and followership of citizens.
According to PDP, the situation has created an atmosphere and feeling of absence of governance in the country.
“Our party is alarmed that there is a serious disconnection between the government and the citizens arising from ill-planned and hasty implementation of policies that have brought excruciating hardship, horrifying insecurity, and a general sense of apprehension that is already threatening the peace, unity, and corporate existence of our nation.
“The administration’s lack of ingenuity, tact and sensitivity towards the wellbeing of Nigerians in the removal of subsidy and floating of the naira inflamed unbearable high cost of living, crippled our national productivity, crashed millions of businesses and sparked massive job loss with attendant escalated poverty, hunger, insecurity, and hopelessness across the country.
“The situation has snowballed into a dangerous loss of investors’ confidence with international companies exiting our nation and leaving millions of Nigerians stranded in the labour market with crippling effect on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which are the real drivers of our national economy.
“It is horrifying that in the last two months, over 150 million Nigerians can no longer afford their daily meals, with families now going to bed on empty stomach”, the PDP lamented.
The party stressed that it was appalling that the APC government continued to tout their alleged fraud-prone palliative programme, “of a miserable average 1,200 bags of rice to Nigerians in each state of the country”. It maintained that the ruling party “has expanded its capacity to deceive and defraud Nigerians through phony programmes; a situation that has heightened frustration across the country”.
PDP said it was distressing that the APC government had turned a blind eye to the plight of Nigerians, with no concrete commitment towards the safety of lives of the citizens, “despite the killing of over 500 Nigerians in Plateau, Benue, Niger, Kaduna and other states of the federation, with many more abducted since May 29, 2023”.
The PDP spokesman added, “The failure of the APC government to decisively act since the abduction of eight corps members, who were on their way to Sokoto State for their one-year mandatory national service, is another ugly testament of the APC government’s insensitivity towards the security, safety and wellbeing of citizens.
“More disturbing is the recent downing of a Nigerian military aircraft with attendant loss of lives of our brave and gallant military personnel without corresponding reassuring statement from the APC government.”
Ologunagba stated that under APC, life expectancy in Nigeria had plummeted, and citizens and residents lived in constant apprehension and could not move freely across the country for fear of being killed or abducted.
He stressed, “Instead of protecting Nigerians, the APC government is desperate to plunge our nation into a needless war in Niger Republic over a conflict in the nation that does not constitute any threat whatsoever to our national interest.
“Our party is concerned that the general sense of despondency, anxiety, distress and disconnection in the country, if not urgently addressed, could deteriorate into a serious crisis.”
PDP charged Nigerians to remain calm, law-abiding, and continue to support one another in their quest for a secure and economically thriving nation.
Meanwhile, Vice President Kashim Shettima, on Monday admitted that Nigeria was in a difficult economic situation.
Shettima charged members of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms to develop a robust roadmap that would transform the economy and take the country out of the woods.
The vice president gave the advice, when he received in audience members of the committee led by the chairman, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, at State House, Abuja.
Shettima told the committee, “The task before you is enormous, I believe you have the best brains to come up with a robust roadmap that will reposition our economy, addressing some of the fundamental issues underlying our fiscal and tax policies. Fiscal and tax policies are key to the realisation of any nation’s economic development.
“I believe you will come up with a roadmap to salvage our nation, we are in a big mess, but I have confidence in your team. This is a great nation chained by poor governance, chained by many challenges and my principal is a man of courage and conviction, he is a progressive man in the Nigerian political space.”
The vice president noted that fiscal policy and tax reforms were a potent tool for resource mobilisation. He charged the committee to make recommendations that would be quick deliverables in view of the current economic realities.
While assuring the committee of the National Economic Council’s cooperation, Shettima said, “Our focus should largely dwell on domestic resource mobilisation, especially, with trends in the world today, even the biggest economies in the world are faced with this reality.”
The Vice President said fiscal policy and tax reforms were critical in meeting national aspirations, and this was taking global dimensions, with global realignment of forces, like the emergence of BRICS and other geo-political unions.
He praised the composition of the committee, stating, “I think the composition of this committee bears testimony to the seriousness that the president attaches to your mandate. Honestly, I am proud of you. I am personally conversant with some of the members of this committee, who are men and women of impeccable character, high integrity, committed and patriotic.”
Earlier, Special Adviser to the President on Revenue, Zaccheus Adedeji, revealed that the presidential committee would be interested in working with the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by Shettima, “to ensure effective collaboration with the sub-national governments that are critical stakeholder groups in the task before the committee.”
Committee chairman, Oyedele, said members of the committee were “excited for this opportunity to help our country to redefine, redesign a new fiscal policy framework that is fit for our nation to thrive and deliver the Nigeria we want in order for our people to flourish in their endeavours.
“We are laser focused on our mandate as directed by Mr. President, which covers fiscal governance, revenue transformation and fiscal competitiveness and economic growth facilitation.”
He assured the vice president that the committee would engage with Nigerians both at home and abroad as well as with all segments of the society.
Oyedele also expressed the readiness of the committee to engage with sub-national governments through NEC in achieving its mandate.