President Muhammadu Buhari’s assertion that the economy had improved has been opposed by Nigerians.
In his New Year speech, Buhari said his administration recorded significant achievements despite the downturn in local and global economy.
He noted that the lessons learnt from COVID-19 encouraged increased efforts to mitigate its socio-economic effects.
The President mentioned the most recent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The 4.03% growth recorded in the third quarter of 2021, according to him, confirms recovery, confidence and effective blueprint.
“This recent growth is closely followed by the 5.1% (year on year) growth in real terms recorded by Nigeria in Quarter 2 of 2021.
“This growth was one of the best recorded by any nation across Sub-Saharan Africa. The 5.1% growth at that time remains the highest recorded by the Nigerian economy since 2014”, Buhari stated.
But responding, a civil engineer based in Ibadan, Toba Atolagbe, disagreed with the President, stressing that the economy has become worse, “especially in the last three years”.
The builder advised Buhari against relying on figures on paper, but to meet people on the streets and allow the best brains handle policies.
“His ego is large, a big problem. He should let go of it and put his vice in charge of anything that has to do with the economy.
“We all witnessed how the economy progressed when Yemi Osinbajo took charge”, Atolagbe recalled.
Precious Tombari, a staff of a firm in Rivers, maintained that the government’s position was different from what was obtained nationwide.
The citizen said the rise in the cost of food items, transport, kerosene, gas and other necessities had made life become unbearable for the poor.
“The major success of any government is the provision of cheap livelihood for the masses and this isn’t the case.
“Basic things are now luxury for the ordinary man. There are now few affordable houses, food, amenities, etc.
“This government is a big failure. All they do is come up with ridiculous laws that frustrate the majority of the population.
“All sectors are failing; doctors and tech guys are relocating. The number of people who have left the country since 2015 is an all-time high.”
Tombari urged the government to put in place structures and regulations to help the commoners access the basic things.
Another respondent, Tosin, a fashion designer in Lagos, told the federal government to “get uncomfortable with 2%, 3% growth rates”.
“Nigeria needs to grow by at least 26% for the next 30 years to break away from shambles into abundance”, he advocated.
On Tuesday, Buhari appointed Doyin Salami as his Chief Economic Adviser. He was Chairman of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC).
The Associate Professor obtained a Doctorate degree in Economics from the Queen Mary College, University of London.