The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the economic assertions in President Muhammadu Buhari’s independence anniversary speech as a huge slap on the sensibilities of Nigerians.
The party asked the President to wake up to reality and take demonstrable urgent steps that would address the divisive tendencies and poor economic policies of his administration, which it said, were fast decimating Nigeria under his watch.
Stating that security is pivotal to economic revival, the party expressed worry that the president failed to listen to the call asking him to sack his service chiefs inspire of the insecurity challenges in the country.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the Buhari’s attempt to justify the increase of fuel price in Nigeria by comparing it to the N168 per liter cost in Saudi Arabia was a morbid joke.
According to the opposition party, the president failed to note that the minimum wage in Saudi Arabia is N305,113 (3000 Saudi Riyals), ten times higher than paltry N30,000 which is largely unimplemented in Nigeria.
The statement said, “Is Mr. President not aware that, on the average, a person working in Saudi Arabia earns around 4,230SAR (N430, 267) to 16,700 SAR (N1,698,693) per month?
“Our party charges Mr. President to always check his books before making such offensive comparisons including the price in Egypt where monthly average earning is around N222, 841 (9,200 EGP) against our N30,000.
“In comparing our costs with other countries such as Ghana, Chad and Niger where purchasing powers of citizens are much more higher, did Mr. President reflect on the cost of house rent, education, healthcare and average dependence on fuel for daily survival by ordinary citizens as obtainable in Nigeria?
“If the flawed assertions as evident in Mr. President’s speech are a direct reflection of how policies are formulated in his administration, then one needs not wonder why our economy is in doldrums.”
The PDP stated that fuel ought not to sell for more than N100 in Nigeria.
“Indeed, it is imperative to state that if the Buhari administration had summoned the competence and honesty to continue the programs already laid by previous administrations under our party to revive our refineries and provide infrastructural backbone for our productive sector, fuel price will not be more than N100 per liter, in addition to the gains from by-product from crude oil,” it said.
The party urged the president to allow for more robust discourse that would lead to affordable prices for fuel and other essential commodities in the country.
The PDP said it was ludicrous for the President to be hyping his ‘better together’ theme when the administration headed by him was running on nepotism, disregard for rule of law, human right abuses, corruption, political intolerance, suppression of free speech and aggression towards dissenting voices.
The party urged him to end his rhetoric and take practical steps to entrench the culture of rule of law and strengthen harmonious living through inclusiveness, equity in wealth distribution and equal access to opportunities for all Nigerians irrespective of creed, class, and ethnicity.
Stating that credible elections were essential to harmonious living, the party restated its commendation to the President for the free, fair and credible governorship election in Edo State on September 19.
It, however, urged him to sustain it in the October 10 Ondo governorship election so as to consolidate the legacy of free and fair election under his watch.
The PDP also advised Buhari to stop borrowing and to focus on boosting production “instead of his endless lamentation over his failures.”
It added, “The unceasing acts of insurgency, banditry and kidnapping in the last five years have wrecked our nation’s productivity and threatened her corporate existence.
“Our party restates our belief in the potentials of our nation and urges Mr. President to seek help by engaging more competent hands to assist in handling the affairs of our nation.”