Buhari clueless on how to overcome recession –PDP

From NDUBUISI ORJI, Abuja

THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration lacks the fiscal discipline, knowhow and resolve to move the country out of recession.

The PDP said statements by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, that the present administration of Buhari will focus on fiscal discipline and diversification to move the country out of recession is a clear indication that the government is clueless.

According to the opposition party, available statistics show that Adeosun’s comments about fiscal discipline and diversification are mere empty rhetoric.

The PDP in a statement issued yesterday by Deji Adeyanju, Director, New Media said, “ we believe a recession is not reversed by diversification. A recession is reversed by implementing a stimulus package designed to cut taxes, reduce the cost of doing business and boost spending on infrastructure and other critical sectors of the economy.

“ Available data shows that the Buhari administration has spent a meagre 19 percent of the allocation for CAPEX in #Budget2016. This sort of spending will not make any sort of impact on the economy.

“ Assuming, but not conceding that Mrs. Adeosun was right, the challenge is the past 15 months show that despite the glib talk, the Buhari administration is doing neither.

It said despite claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government that it is weeding ghost workers from the system, “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.”

Furthermore, the PDP noted that, “ two days ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released its economic report for Q2 2016, which showed that the FG incurred a N1.09tr deficit for the quarter. This deficit was 96 percent 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 percent 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, GDP figures re- leased by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday show that the Buhari administration is doing significant harm to non-oil sectors of the economy. Some of those figures include: Non oil GDP contracted by -0.38 percent in Q2 2016 from -0.18 percent in Q1 2016 and 3.46 percent in Q2 2015.Furthermore, CBN figures show that non-oil export fell by 43.2 percent to $576.97m in Q2 2016. As the data shows, even sectors that experienced growth in Q2 have slowed considerably compared to Q1 2016 & Q2 2015.”