Uche Usim, Abuja
Economic experts, who listened to President Muhammadu Buhari’s Democracy Day broadcast, on Tuesday, had argued that the fragile growth recorded was buoyed largely by higher cost of crude oil and not diversification.
President Buhari had praised his administration for growing the economy in the broadcast but he has been cautioned against ‘premature celebration’.
The experts insist the economy was highly susceptible to oil shocks if it abruptly crashes.
According to them, all the economic emancipation programmes the Buhari administration boasted about like the N-Power, GEEP and other schemes, are yet to fully take-off to enable the private sector players latch on such opportunities to provide jobs.
Commenting on the broadcast, Chief Executive Officer of Global Analytics Consulting Limited, Tope Fasua, advised President Buhari not to claim unripe success for an economy that crashed under his watch.
In the words of Fasua, “This was due to his lethargic, lackadaisical and absent approach to government. The fact that crude oil prices are trending up should also not lull him and his team back to sleep and over 65% of Nigerians are still extremely poor.
“We cannot claim to be out of the woods yet. Nigerian government is planning 1.6% GDP growth rate this year while we have 13% inflation and 30% lending rates. That is an economy heading to Hades. It is a tad irresponsible for leaders to rush to town and claim glory for these kind of statistics.
“This shows that there is no hope for economic renaissance with this government. It must be noted that we have been borrowing massively to paper over the economic cancer that has metastasised under the Buhari government due to negligence and continued corruption”, he said.
In his views, a former Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Rislanudeen Mohammad, said the frightening figure of unemployment remains a pointer to the fact that the economy is struggling to grow.
“The adjusted GDP growth released by the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) showed that youth unemployment and under-employment stands at 52.25%.
“Mr. President was comparing quarter by quarter but if you look at things critically, you’ll see that the little growth seen if from oil and not diversification because it has not trickled down. Companies that were hit by recession are yet to recover,” he said.
Also commenting on the broadcast, Prof. Uche Uwaleke of the Nassarawa State University said President’s claim of economic growth was acceptable judging from the horrible state of economy when he came on the saddle.
In the words of Uwaleke, “The government has done a lot to a large extent. When they came in, oil price crashed and the economy plunged into recession.
“But the CBN intervened in various ways. But the government has to tackle the rising insecurity like the herdsmen-farmers clashes. It’s affecting the economy. Again, we need to see more N-Power programmes”, he said.