OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
The National Chairman of the Action Democratic Party, Engr. Yabagi Yusuf Sani has said that poor policies and corruption of past and present administration has turned the country to mono- economy despite its rich resources.
He also said successful leaders in Nigeria have failed to add value to the crude oil even as it constitute 90% of its foreign exchange earnings and about 80 per cent of total export.
Engr. Yabagi in a Press Conference on Thursday at the party National Secretariat in Abuja during the party’s one year anniversary formation said that the delegate system of primaries used by most political parties in Nigeria was rejected due to its fraudulent tendencies.
“Our nation is at crossroads; the nation’s economy has over the years, remained disarticulated and almost dysfunctional due to a plurality of poor policies and corruption of past and present administration in Nigeria, despite Nigeria’s great human and material endowments. It is disheartening today that Nigeria has been mindlessly turned into a mono- economy so dependent on crude oil to the neglect of other sectors of the economy.
“Crude oil now constitutes about 90 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and about 80% of its total export. The most pathetic aspect is that successive leaders in Nigeria have failed to add value to the crude oil. It is shameful that over 90 per cent of Nigeria’s crude is exported abroad for refining at great cost to this country and the leaders don’t feel a tinge of conscience. But we know why this ill- motivated and dubious policy has sustained for years.
“The cabal that runs this crude oil export business has appropriated the sector with explicable but highly corrupt initiatives predicated on a subsidy regime that has corrosive impact on the Nigerian oil and gas industry. That is why the cabal in connivance with their cronies and collaborators in government make the nation appear helpless as its four refineries are deliberately plunged into protracted disrepair”.
According to Yabagi, Nigeria is said to consume about 30 million liters’ of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol per day while the nation’s refineries can only cumulatively produce 450,000 liters’ per day adding that, “our leaders have deliberately refused to find solutions to this anomaly.
“In Nigeria today, corruption and poor policy response to the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian masses especially in the area of human capital development, have led to deplorable poverty, which is a major cause of insecurity of various forms. According to the Nigerian Population Commission (NPC), Nigeria’s population has recently hit 198 million people and by projections, Nigeria could become the fourth most populous country in the world by 2050, surpassing the United States of America. Yet there appears no strategic plan for the growing numbers.
“Nigeria has recently overtaken India as the country with the most absolute poor people in the world which portends a looming danger and we must rise to avert it before it consumes us”, he said.
He noted that the latest inflation figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), inflation stands currently at 12.48 per cent, which is double digit under which most normal leaders would have declared a state of emergency on the economy.
“The living standard of Nigerians has rapidly deteriorated especially in the last three years of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership, which promised so much in 2015 and has so far delivered so little. Nigeria just wriggled out of recession, caused by the disingenuous steps taken by the government and the impacts were immediate and sharp.
The unemployment rate has doubled from 9.9% in the third quarter of 2015 to 18.8% in the third quarter of 2017 according to the NBS. The statistics agency has also disclosed that the number of unemployed Nigerians also increased to 15.99 million in the third quarter of 2017 from 11.9 million in the third quarter of 2016.
Nigeria’s GDP stood at $406 billion (2016), and our population stood at an intimidating 186 million (2016 data, World Bank). So our GDP/capita is $2,177 (i.e. $406b/186m people). But now the NPC said the population is 198 million. For the purpose of this illustration, this is a measure of how rich (or poor) we are.
“Again, just so you understand our poverty in context, the US has a GDP/capita of $58,000; Germany’s is $42,000; DR Congo – the most mineral-resourced country on earth has a GDP/capita of $440, and it is officially the poorest country on earth. Back to Nigeria: We have an embarrassingly high Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 5.5 per cent.
This means that by the time an average Nigerian woman is 49 years old, she would have given birth about 6 times. And this is the average. In states like Zamfara and Jigawa, the TFR is 7.6 per cent and 8.4 per cent, respectively. So, an average woman in Zamfara would have given birth about 9 times within her reproductive years”.
The Chairman noted that the Party after a thorough research has encapsulated an economic blueprint anchored on free trade and private sector participation as the core driver of the economy adding; “In this regard we will assist innovative private firms and individuals with guaranteed loans to invest in the economy while we regulate their activities”, he said.
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