GDP Growth: Nigeria Not Yet Out of Trouble, Says PDP

  •   Makarfi warns members against litigation
  • Stop threatening me with expulsion, says Kashamu

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the country is not yet out of the woods economically despite exiting recession as claimed by the federal government.

The opposition party said the Nigerian economy is still very weak, feeble and insufficient to herald the sort of celebration and backslapping being displayed by officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.

Against the background of brewing crisis in some of its state chapters, especially the resistance by some stakeholders in the Ogun State branch to the directives of the party, the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said the party would not hesitate to sanction erring members.

Speaking during the inauguration of the state caretaker committees for Adamawa and Osun States at the party’s national secretariat, Makarfi said getting out of recession can be because of one or two indices which might not even have direct bearing on ordinary citizens.

He said looking at the figures collectively and holistically, it would seem as if one is already out of a problem but “you are not really out of a problem.

“You will be out of a problem when people are able to eat well, people are secured, people find jobs, infrastructures are in good condition, students will not find it difficult to pay common tuition fees, because all these issues are there and then we say we are out of recession and we are clapping?,” he said.

Makarfi said what PDP intends to do is correct things when it comes back to power but that in the interim, it would pressure those in power to make sure that the conditions of every Nigerians is better.

Also, in a statement issued wednesday by its spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, PDP said the figures released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics is a marginal improvement compared to -0.91 per cent (revised) in Q1 2017 & -1.49 per cent in Q2 2016.

It said that such a growth is insufficient and insignificant to engender national prosperity.

The NBS on Tuesday released its second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report which showed a growth of the economy for the first time in six consecutive quarters.

PDP said the import of this was that Nigeria had exited its longest recession in almost three decades.
According to the report, the Nigerian Economy grew by 0.55 per cent in Q2 2017, a marginal improvement compared to -0.91 per cent (revised) in Q1 2017 & -1.49 per cent in Q2 2016.

But the PDP observed that the growth falls way short of the 6.54per cent GDP growth in the corresponding quarter of 2014, which was our last full year in office.

It said that figure falls significantly below the 3.96 per cent growth in the first quarter in 2015, which was our last full quarter in office.

Comparatively, PDP said the economy recorded growth of 6.54per cent, in first quarter of 2014, 3.96 per cent in second quarter of 2015 and 0.55 per cent for the same period in 2017.

“When these figures are considered along with inflation rate of 16.05 per cent and an annual population growth rate of approximately 2.67 per cent per annum, it is impossible to escape the conclusion that the recovery of the Nigerian Economy is weak, feeble and insufficient to herald the sort of celebration and backslapping being displayed by officials of this APC led-administration,” he said.

PDP’s spokesman said from its analysis, there is little or no justification to celebrate since harsh living condition in the country persists.

“We are of the firm belief that there is nothing to celebrate until the so called economic growth improves the harsh living conditions imposed on millions of ordinary Nigerians by the Buhari administration’s incoherent economic policies and is reflected in a reduction of the high cost of goods, services and staple foods necessary for everyday living.

“At this point, it is necessary to sound a note of caution! It is imperative to reiterate the warning of the last Monetary Policy Committee (PMC) Meeting to the effect that the Nation is at risk of falling into a more protracted recession if strong and bold monetary and fiscal policies are not activated immediately to sustain our exit from recession.

“This warning is very necessary in the light of the incompetence, lack of economic direction and incoherent economic policies of the Buhari administration which led us into, and then prolonged recession in the first place. It is clear that a continuation of the administration’s incoherent economic policies and its penchant for governance by propaganda will only lead us down a more dangerous path.

Meanwhile, PDP has warned that it would sanction any of the party members who refuses to abide by the party’s constitution in resolving grievances before rushing to the court.

He said it is only by being united that the PDP’s quest for a return to power in 2019 can be realised.
Makarfi who was reacting to the accusation levelled against him by Senator Buruji Kashamu that he was fuelling crisis in the Ogun State chapter, said there was no truth in the allegation.

He said the caretaker committee has already taken off peacefully in the state.
“Did you see any sign of crisis here? Osun is here. The crisis is in Ogun and it seems that he is one fuelling it. We have constituted caretaker committees in seven states and all of them are working well. Ask yourself why Ogun is the only one in crisis, it is because of one person,” he said.

The chairman of the caretaker committee for Osun State is Ishola Sarafa, while Mohammed Imman is heading the caretaker committee for Adamawa State.

Meanwhile Kashamu has urged Makarfi to stop threatening him with expulsion from the party.
Kashamu, in a statement last night, said he had done nothing to warrant being expelled from the party.

He said: “Reference to comments credited to you while inaugurating the caretaker committees for Osun and Adamawa States where you accused me of fueling those who, in defence of their infringed rights, instituted court cases in Ogun State against the party. I am surprised that given your status and particularly the temporary nature of your present position; you are compounding issues instead of being forthright to solve the problems.

“If you refuse along with your caretaker committee members to do justice by inviting the two sides of a conflict to objectively analyse contending matters ostensibly to find mutually acceptable solution, how can that become my fault?
“It is empirical truth that these court judgments existed before your appointment as the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of our great party. Also, it is on record that the affected party has written multiple letters to you explaining the facts of the case in anticipation of your being equitable and just. These people have also been writing to the police for necessary protection to prevent any negative decision you might take that could result into anarchy and breakdown of law and order.

“Unfortunately, you chose to be partisan and unfair to them by dissolving the validly constituted state exco against subsisting judgments and constituted a one-sided caretaker committee populated by 100% of their adversaries – in favour of OGD.

“Mr Chairman, you seem to be asking and expecting from me that which I have no powers to do. Those you have sidelined, though political allies of mine, are eminent political leaders and important personalities in their own rights. They cannot easily be suppressed and coerced into concurrence of obvious rights abuse without reactions.

“It is worse when it is an open secret as we all know that all these manipulations in the mould of reconciliation are meant to create loyal South West excos for your presidential ambition.

“The threat of expelling me and others perceived not to fall in line with exco creation for your presidential agenda has become topical in the party. If you unjustly expel us from the party, you cannot expel us from the hearts of our people. Certainly, you cannot also expel us from the courts as bonafide Nigerians and law abiding citizens.”

He further said: “More importantly, any attempt to expel us from our party for resisting this unfair and callous exploitation of our rights shall fail because all foundation of its illegality and vindictiveness is clear via your actions. Democracy is not about dogmatism. It is about expression of rights and freedom to align to logical beliefs. All these enforcement of your wish as the choice excos of our people cannot and would not stand. I wonder why you cannot use this caretaker committee opportunity righteously with the fear of God. I refuse to be intimidated by anybody, as I fear only the almighty Allah; my creator.”