The administration of Bola Tinubu on Sunday claimed that Nigerians are enjoying the lowest living costs in Africa following narratives around the rising inflation and cost of living in the country.
According to the Presidency, the administration was focused on “solving our economic and security challenges,” and said the ongoing economic reforms would cause “immediate pains but will usher in an era of prosperity in the medium and long terms.”
Bayo Onanuga, special adviser to the President on information and strategy, said this in a statement he signed titled ‘Atiku Abubakar and his new hobby.’
The presidential aide who responded to accusations from the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, had said Tinubu’s economic policies were creating pain and causing despair among Nigerians.
Atiku argued that the administration’s poor response to the nation’s challenges was a signal that the citizens were in for a prolonged and deeper economic crisis.
“The economy’s performance has, in recent weeks and months, been a subject of intense discourse among Nigerian citizens at home and abroad. Nigerians are gravely concerned, and rightly so, that Tinubu’s poor response to Nigeria’s economic challenges is setting the stage for a prolonged and deeper domestic economic crisis,” Atiku said.
“His economic policies, drawn from a so-called Renewed Hope Agenda, are ironically dashing hopes, creating pain and causing despair. The private sector is shrinking by the day as small businesses are emasculated and as Multinational Companies, confused and weary of the economy, leave Nigeria in droves. The intense cost of living pressures has created more misery for the poor in towns and villages. There is hunger in the land as basic commodities, including BREAD, are becoming out of reach for average Nigerians.
“BAT has shown no capacity to deal with the adverse and disastrous impact of the new subsidy regime on the people and businesses and the new foreign exchange policy, which provides for a free-floating exchange rate. His initiatives are uninformed, arbitrary, and chaotic. BAT’s palliatives are too mean, pitiable, and contemptuous of the poor. He seems genuinely lost, bewildered, and overwhelmed.”
Speaking for the Presidency, Onanuga faulted Atiku’s assertions about the rising cost of living saying, “His claim that the government’s policies have created intense cost of living pressures are also not grounded on facts as recent comparative cost of living indices show that Nigerians still enjoy the lowest cost of living in Africa.”
“Atiku’s claims that the private sector is shrinking and that multinational companies are leaving our companies in ‘droves’ are not grounded on facts,” it added.
According to him, Atiku “should be honest enough to admit that President Tinubu inherited a weak economy,” which, to all intents and purposes…needs a complete overhaul.
“Nigerians can easily see through the hypocrisy of Alhaji Atiku, who in accusing President Tinubu of poor response to the nation’s challenges and causing pains and despair, didn’t offer any better policy options in his run for the Presidency different from the economic reform agenda being pursued by President Tinubu,” the statement further read.
Onanuga added that reputable local and international agencies who understand the situation the Tinubu administration found itself in have commended the administration, having seen a policy trajectory that is positive, realistic and sustainable.
The Presidency noted that the administration has also embarked on comprehensive fiscal and tax policy reform that will drive speedy recovery and spur economic growth and therefore its detractors “cannot stop the serious work of nation-building already set in motion by President Tinubu.”