The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has faulted claims by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its former Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar that President Muhammadu Buhari is responsible for Nigeria’s slide into another recession.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO also described Atiku’s prescription for a quick exit as a recipe for disaster.
“We are not totally surprised that the opposition party and its failed candidate decided to jump on the latest GDP figures to play to the gallery, but in doing so they ended up exposing themselves to ridicule.
“Only strange economists or fake ones would pretend not to know that Nigeria would not escape the Covid-induced global recession that has been ravaging some of the biggest economies in the world since the second quarter of the year.
“We wonder how someone whose son was infected with the Covid-19 and had to spend weeks in an isolation centre could be pretentious about the impact of the pandemic.
“So in blaming President Buhari for the 3.62%, Q3 drop in the country’s GDP after a 6.10% in Q2, PDP and Atiku should also hold Buhari responsible for the situation in South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States which recorded much deeper contraction than Nigeria.
“In fact, we dare say that the country outperformed many economies in the world and is already on the path of a technical exit from the recession with its 3.62% decline.
“And in case PDP and the former Vice President have been too consumed with petty politics to notice, President Buhari had, before the global lockdown, set the stage for a quick exit from the inevitable recession with a number of post-covid programmes targeted at putting cash in the hands of Nigerians.
“This is a man that stemmed the tide of four consecutive PDP-era GDP contractions between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015, and set the country on the path of growth with a more resilient and diversified economy from Q3 2015,” the group added.
On the suggestions made by Atiku Abubakar, BMO noted that he is not in a position to offer solutions.
“A 15% increase in taxes is not the product of a sound economic mind at a time when the economy needs to be energised through tax rebates. This is exactly what the Buhari administration has been doing for a category of business owners to enable them to invest more in productive ventures.
“In case he doesn’t know, the administration’s plan is anchored on the several complementary fiscal, real sector and monetary interventions that were proactively introduced by the government to forestall a far worse decline of the economy like that of South Africa with a-50% decline.
“So our message to Atiku Abubakar is that a government that did so well to make the economy Africa’s largest, will take the country out of recession swiftly and without recourse to his ill-thought-out suggestions.
“As for the issue of borrowing, which he likes bringing up, we find it strange that a former Vice President could descend to the level of lying that the Federal Government takes loans for salaries and white elephant projects.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Buhari administration had since 2015 added $17bn to the public debt stock and Nigerians know that they are tied to infrastructure, as opposed to the inherited PDP-era debt of $54bn which fits Atiku’s description of frivolous expenditure that can’t be tracked.”
BMO also urged Nigerians to trust President Buhari’s ability to keep to his administration’s promise of taking the country out of recession in or before the first quarter of 2021.