The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has chided President Muhammadu Buhari over his poor handling of the economy.
The party asked Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to accept that they have failed, urging them to allow competent, transparent and honest hands to effectively manage the economy.
In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party suggested ways of recovering from the recession.
According to PDP, Buhari “will be the first President, in our history, to score a hat-trick, in plunging his nation into economic recession, both as military and civilian leader.”
The statement reads, “The APC asks President Buhari and his anti-people APC to accept their failure and allow competent, transparent and honest hands to effectively manage our economy, as that is the only way to save our nation from an imminent economic collapse.
“The APC asserts that the report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that our economy has plunged into another recession under the APC confirms our stand that the Buhari Presidency and the APC lack the competence and integrity to run a national economy.
“The report shows that the Buhari administration and the APC have been lying to Nigerians with false performance claims when they know that they have, in a space of five years, wrecked and plundered our economy, which was rated as one of the fastest growing economies of the world, when they took over from the PDP.
“The economic recession we face today is a fallout of President Buhari and APC’s restrictive, vindictive and anti-trade policies, bizarre foreign exchange controls and monetary policies that impede growth, an over-bloated public sector that encourages waste and incurable corruption, reckless treasury looting and failure to decisively deal with the escalated insecurity, which has destroyed economic activities in most parts of our country.
“While the Buhari Presidency pretends to be running a free market economy, it is in reality, running a corrupt exclusionist market economy tailored to service the interest of a selfish few while frustrating millions of hard working Nigerians with restrictive policies, lack of access to incentives and support as well as high taxes and levies.
“This has crippled domestic production and competiveness, eroded investors’ confidence and occasioned a dearth in foreign direct investment, leading to the economic contraction we have continued to witness under Buhari’s watch.
“President Buhari should end the corruption and divisive tendencies of his administration and allow a free market economy so that more Nigerians will actively participate in the economic space to boost our productive sectors and bring our economy back to its feet.
“The failure by the Buhari’s administration to heed to demands by Nigerians to rejig our security architecture has also worsened the level of insecurity in many parts of our country leading to the closure of millions of businesses, with over 30 million of our farmers abandoning their farmlands, while commercial activities on our trade corridors have been destroyed.
“Besides, our party had cautioned against the increase in fuel price, which has impacted negatively on the disposable incomes of Nigerians. We however insist that poor management and not the high cost of crude oil in the international market is responsible for high costs of domestic price of fuel.
“This is because, in its laziness, the Buhari administration failed to put structures in place to boost domestic competiveness for favourable market forces-induced pricing before the so called deregulation of the oil sector.
“Also, we note the negative impact of the closure of our borders by the Buhari administration, without encouraging local production, just to create an impression of food sufficiency, when it knows that it has not achieved any improvement in food production.
“If the Buhari Presidency had listened to wise counsel by well-meaning Nigerians, including our party, to end its corruption, lift its restrictive polices, reduce taxes and state imposed prices, and get more competent hands to tackle insecurity, our nation would not be in this dire strait.
“Moreover, if the over N14 trillion oil money as well as the billions of naira stolen in the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other MDAs by APC leaders are recovered and injected into our economy, our nation would not be in such bad shape.”