Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

Nigerian Cost Of Living Lowest In Africa – Presidency

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Amid the soaring rate of inflation, the Presidency on Sunday claimed that Nigerians are enjoying the lowest living costs in Africa.

It also said the administration of President Bola Tinubu was focused on “solving our economic and security challenges,” and while admitting that his reforms would cause “immediate pains, but will usher in an era of prosperity in the medium and long terms.”

The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr Bayo Onanuga, made these assertions in a statement he signed titled ‘Atiku Abubakar and his new hobby.’

Onanuga’s response followed accusations from the Peoples Democratic Party 2023 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who said Tinubu’s economic policies were dashing hopes, creating pain, and causing despair among Nigerians.

In a statement he signed on Sunday, Atiku, argued that President Tinubu’s poor response to the nation’s challenges was setting the stage for a prolonged and deeper economic crisis.

Atiku said, “The economy’s performance has, in recent weeks and months, been a subject of intense discourse among Nigerian citizens at home and abroad. Nigerians are gravely concerned, and rightly so, that Tinubu’s poor response to Nigeria’s economic challenges is setting the stage for a prolonged and deeper domestic economic crisis.

“His economic policies, drawn from a so-called Renewed Hope Agenda, are ironically dashing hopes, creating pain and causing despair. The private sector is shrinking by the day as small businesses are emasculated and as Multinational Companies, confused and weary of the economy, leave Nigeria in droves. The intense cost of living pressures has created more misery for the poor in towns and villages. There is hunger in the land as basic commodities, including BREAD, are becoming out of reach for average Nigerians.

“BAT has shown no capacity to deal with the adverse and disastrous impact of the new subsidy regime on the people and businesses and the new foreign exchange policy, which provides for a free-floating exchange rate. His initiatives are uninformed, arbitrary, and chaotic. BAT’s palliatives are too mean, pitiable, and contemptuous of the poor. He seems genuinely lost, bewildered, and overwhelmed.”

But the Presidency faulted Atiku’s assertions about the rising cost of living saying, “His claim that the government’s policies have created intense cost of living pressures are also not grounded on facts as recent comparative cost of living indices show that Nigerians still enjoy the lowest cost of living in Africa.”

“Atiku’s claims that the private sector is shrinking and that multinational companies are leaving our companies in ‘droves’ are not grounded on facts,” it added.

Onanuga said the former Vice President “should be honest enough to admit that President Tinubu inherited a weak economy,” which, to all intents and purposes…needs a complete overhaul.

“Nigerians can easily see through the hypocrisy of Alhaji Atiku, who in accusing President Tinubu of poor response to the nation’s challenges and causing pains and despair, didn’t offer any better policy options in his run for the Presidency different from the economic reform agenda being pursued by President Tinubu,” the statement further read.

It added that reputable local and international agencies who understand the situation the Tinubu administration found itself have commended the administration, having seen a policy trajectory that is clearly positive, realistic and sustainable.

The Presidency noted that the administration has also embarked on comprehensive fiscal and tax policy reform that will drive speedy recovery and spur economic growth and therefore its detractors “cannot stop the serious work of nation-building already set in motion by President Tinubu.”

Meanwhile, ex-lawmaker representing Obokun State Constituency in Osun State House of Assembly, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, has urged opposition parties in the country to stop criticising Tinubu over rise in violent crimes across the country.

Oyintiloye, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Osun, who spoke in Osogbo on Sunday, said instead of criticism that could cause distraction, Tinubu should be supported as he sought solution to the challenge.

He said, “No one is happy with the recent killing, banditry, terrorism, kidnapping other criminalities across the country. But negative criticism and names calling by the leaders of the opposition parties is not the way forward.

“What we need at the critical period is for us, as stakeholders to come together, irrespective of our political affiliation, religious or tribe and give the present administration needed boost and encouragement.

“Security is a collective responsibility of everyone and that is why I am appealing to leaders of the opposition parties to stop playing cheap politics with security issues and narratives that can divide the country,” he said.

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