The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been accused of purposely distorting economic data in order to justify assertions that the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration handed over a successful economy in 2015.
Making the accusation in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) said the opposition party has once again lived up to its billing as a perfidious liar that holds truth in perpetual contempt.
In the statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group said that it was laughable that the PDP also shamelessly twisted out of context, the position of Lamido Sanusi, a man it removed from office as Governor of the Central Bank after he revealed the extent of rot in the PDP years.
“In its latest efforts to manipulate economic facts and figures, the PDP claimed that it handed over a robust economy with a Fitch B+rating and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $574bn, but we are bold to say that the claim is a barefaced lie.
“The truth that anyone is free to fact-check is that, as at March 2015, Nigeria’s economy had a Fitch BB-rating while the GDP was $492.437bn which was largely driven by years of oil windfall until the slump of the last quarter of 2014.
“And for the avoidance of doubt, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has now grown the GDP from the figure he inherited to $514.076bn and that is in spite of a global pandemic.
“So on that basis alone, the former ruling party’s position was anchored on a deliberate distortion of facts by people who did little or nothing to structure the country’s economy to make it more resilient until President Buhari assumed office”.
BMO also questioned the allegation by the PDP that the Buhari administration’s management of the economy erased all the gains of debt repayment it achieved
“This is another brazen attempt to hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians with the same impunity it operated while in power at the centre for 16 years.
“What PDP handed over to the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration after 16 years was actually an economy with a public debt stock of $63bn, even after the so-called debt repayment, a JVC cash call debt of $6bn, local contractors’ debt running of N3trn, a foreign reserve that was depleted from $64.3bn in 2008 to $29bn and an Excess Crude account of $2bn from $19.5bn, not to talk of a situation where 27 states could not pay workers’ salaries.
“And in terms of infrastructure, the country had more bridges and railway projects on paper than on ground, and no Nigerian should forget in a hurry the President’s famous rhetorical question ‘where is the Power’ after the previous PDP administration had spent in excess of $16bn on power infrastructure.
“Lest we forget, the former CBN governor on whose tail coats the opposition shamelessly hung on to, had in 2013 publicly drawn attention to the disappearance of $20bn in oil revenue from the nation’s coffers under the then PDP administration, an allegation that earned him instant removal from office.
“We also need to remind the opposition party that it has yet to respond to another Sanusi claim that the country lost $1bn each month in the Jonathan years,” the Buhari supporters said in dismissing the claim that the PDP managed the Nigerian economy better.
“In case PDP leadership missed it, the claim was made on an American news channel, PBS Newshour and was published on the network’s YouTube channel on December 2 2015.
“So we find it disingenuous that the PDP could measure economic prosperity with the price of foreign rice brands rather than on infrastructure that are springing up daily across the country, and an environment that has made Nigeria, Africa’s largest producer of rice”. BMO urged Nigerians to be wary of PDP’s regular efforts at rigging numbers.
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