From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted Jigawa State governor, Abubakar Badaru over his comments that immediate past President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan was responsible for the present economic recession in the country.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, accused Badaru, of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of making pedestrian claims not backed by facts.
The PDP noted that it is lack of vision and poor handling of the economy by the APC that has brought the country to its knees, economically.
The opposition party insisted Jonathan’s administration grew the economy to become the largest in Africa, adding that the recent visit of Facebook founder, Mark Mark Zukerberg to the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) in Yaba, Lagos would not have happened if Jonathan had not set up two Information Communication Technology(ICT) incubation centres in Lagos and Calabar to boost youth entrepreneurship.
While restating that the current economic recession was not caused by the PDP administration, the party said the present economic reality in the country is a direct consequence of the policies and statements of key actors in the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, which (has) dissuaded Nigerian and foreign businessmen from investing in the country.
“It is really disappointing that a notable personality as highly placed as a state governor could be drawn into making idle and pedestrian claims without the benefit of facts.In the first place, this blame is misplaced because our elementary understanding of economics teaches us that the major cause of recession is inflation and poor handling of the economy given that the higher the rate of inflation, the more impoverished people become, industrial production and GDP decline resulting in massive job losses.” The PDP said it saw the present economic downturn coming in 2012, when the Jonathan administration attempted to” deregulate the sale of hydrocarbons.
“But, Badaru and his co-travellers who are now in the All Progressives Congress (APC) frustrated the effort.”
It said, similarly, the plan by the last PDP adminiatration to encourage more savings in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) through the Sovereign Wealth Fund(SWF) which it set up was thwarted by some state governors, who are now topshots in the ruling party.
Meanwhile, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has sent an open letter to Buhari requesting him to “use your good offices and leadership to urgently take concrete measures to address and mitigate the negative effects of the economic recession and crisis on the poorest and most marginalized across the country.”
The September 2, 2016 letter signed by SERAP senior staff counsel Timothy Adewale expressed concern that “the economic crisis is having disproportionate impacts on the rights of the poorest and most marginalised, who are the most vulnerable because they already suffWer from years of corruption, underdevelopment and abuse of power.”
The organisation asked President Buhari to “urgently provide the socially and economically vulnerable with social protection programs and safety-nets to protect them from severe poverty and deprivation”, and “immediately drop the proposed 10 per cent tax on phone calls, text messages, data and more, as this would disproportionately affect the socially and economically vulnerable and push them deeper into poverty and deprivation.”
The organisation also asked the president to “Urgently propose legislation and constitutional amendment that would end the practice of budgeting billions of Naira as ‘security votes’ for the Federal Government and the 36 state governments, as the diversion of the funds has continued to undermine the ability of the government to provide essential goods and services across the country.”