Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the 2023 election, has stated that the latest inflation figure of 26.72% and food inflation of 30.6% highlight the administration’s incompetence and cluelessness.
In a statement to Newsmen on Tuesday, Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, blamed the high inflation rate on Tinubu’s deceptive removal of the petrol subsidy, faulty exchange rate unification strategy, and ignorant implementation of VAT on diesel.
According to Atiku’s assistant, the ultimate elimination of VAT on diesel was belated and indicative of Tinubu’s administration’s capricious nature.
He claimed Tinubu’s proclamation of a state of emergency on food security was merely rhetoric, as food prices continued to rise, accompanied by an increase in transportation costs and deteriorating federal roads that made interstate travel uncomfortable.
Shaibu added, “Food prices in several parts of the world are dropping. However, they are increasing in Nigeria because the country is being governed by an economic Lilliputian whose only bragging right is increasing the revenue of Lagos State through multiple taxation and the institutionalisation of extortion.
“He knows nothing about exchange rate, monetary policy, or even how to run a multi-ethnic and largely agrarian country like Nigeria. This was a man who said last year that the only way to solve unemployment was to employ 50 million youths into the army and feed them with ‘Agbado (corn), cassava and ewa (beans)”. How can such a man have the answers to Nigeria’s problems?”
Atiku’s aide described Tinubu’s administration as prodigal, adding that the way money was being wasted amid scarcity of resources showed the insincerity of the government.
He added, “Even at a time when he is calling on everyone to tighten their belts, he inaugurated the largest cabinet in Nigeria’s history and is set to plunge Nigeria deeper into more debt.
“He declared an emergency in food security, ordered the release of grains, and reviewed his earlier palliative plan, but 100 days since the so-called declaration of a state of emergency, Nigerians are hungrier and poorer. It is obvious that it was all a ruse to deceive the feeble-minded, just like his announcement on the lifting of the UAE visa ban.”
Shaibu urged Nigerians to be patient while the Supreme Court attempts to correct the electoral calamity of February 25, 2023.
He claimed that if Tinubu’s rule lasted a year, Nigerians would be poorer than they had ever been.
Shaibu stated, “Under Tinubu’s watch, the inflation rate has risen steadily from 22.79% in June to 24.08% in July to 25.80% in August and now 26.72% in September. Food inflation has also moved steadily from 25.25% in June to 30.6%.
“If this certificate forger is allowed to continue in office for another year, the inflation rate could rival that of the Sani Abacha regime which saw the inflation rate peak at 72.84% in 1995, the highest in Nigeria’s history. This was at a time also that Nigeria was facing stiff sanctions.”
According to Shaibu, all signs are that the Nigerian government has surreptitiously reinstated petrol subsidies, resulting in the massive price disparity between petrol and kerosene and diesel.
He said, “Nigerians should not be deceived by the antics of this government. They have secretly reintroduced subsidies on petrol. That is why the price of petrol has remained stable while the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas have all gone up.
“How can the price of crude oil and forex go up, and the price of petrol remains static? Is it possible for the cost of rice to go up and the cost of fried rice, which has ingredients such as green pepper, green peas, and salt, remains static? It makes no sense!
“Foreign investors are aware of the lies being told by the Tinubu administration, hence their decision not to take him seriously.”
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