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Opposition parties, groups raise the alarm over ‘imminent’ economic recession

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Kolawole Ologbondiyan

Some opposition political parties in the country have raised the alarm that Nigeria may be plunged into another economic recession in the nearest future going by the rising debt profile of the country under the ruling party with the fast approaching 2019 general election.

The parties, which include the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC) said unless something urgent and critical is done to address the trend, most of the debts would be diverted to fund the election.

Also, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYF) and Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) have expressed worry that the country is heading towards the rock economically if the rising debt profile continues.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said the present economic situation under the APC shows that the party lacks understanding of running the economy.   According to him: “If a government is claiming to be saving money but at the same time borrowing money at alarming rate, there is no sense in such.

“If the incumbent government thinks of using the present situation to mop up money to wreck opposition financially, then it is making a huge joke because Nigerians are now wiser and would vote appropriately. It is unfortunate that the Buhari administration lacks good economic policy.”

In a similar vein, Executive Secretary of PANDEF, Mr. Tony Uranta, said except Nigeria manages its rising debt profile, its anti-corruption and the distrust between the government and the Niger Delta relationship coupled with the fast-approaching election year, Nigeria is bound to witness another recession that may be very difficult if not impossible to overcome.

Although, accepting the fact that the increased debt profile may have been as a result of the falling price of oil in the international market, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) noted that the fall in oil price was not a sudden development, which ought not to have met a mono-product economy like Nigeria unprepared if this administration is smart.

The SDP National Technical Adviser, Public Communication, Mr. Yemi Akinbode, said the ruling party has failed to diversify the economy as promised during the campaign.

The party warned that if this trend continues with the election fast-approaching when money would be diverted for campaign “Nigeria risks a situation where the economy would be shutdown.”

The President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shetima said there was no magic APC could perform to revive the economy between now and 2019 when election would hold, saying if a government failed to perform in three years, what do we expect it to do in one year?

But a senior government official told The Guardian the debt figure is not the major criteria but the most important is the situation of the debt against the nation’s GDP and growth, saying: “This will explain the condition. The figure might not answer what you want to know. In this regards, the finance minister is in the best position to provide answer.’’

The ADC National Chairman, Mr. Ralph Nwosu, said the ruling party has added nothing new or value to the nation’s economy.


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