Osita Chidoka, Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has tackled the Presidency for listing the creation of ministries as one of the significant achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari since he began his second term in office.
The Presidency had earlier on Friday listed some achievements of the current administration, among which were the establishment of new ministries – Police Affairs and Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Speaking as a guest on Channels TV programme, Politics Today, later on Friday, Chidoka said for a country that is currently (using) 90 percent of its revenue to service its debt, building new ministries and bringing new people into work is certainly not an achievement worth celebrating.
“I was surprised that the government released a list of 35 achievements this year because a year ago or two years ago, they released 64 achievements. So, even by their quantum of achievements, the government has declined in productivity,” said the PDP Chieftain.
“But when you look at the quality of the achievements, the GDP of this country has fallen from N520billion in 2018 to N350billion. So, everybody is poorer in this government.
“On the economy, Nigeria’s debt has risen to about N36trillion. It has grown three times to what it was in 2015. It has grown from about N12trillion, meaning that 90 percent of our revenue is actually going into debt servicing. So, I don’t know how that can be seen as an achievement.
“When you look at the debt profile, it is not as though we borrowed money to invest but we have borrowed money to do practically three things: they have used the borrowed money to sustain the naira at an unsustainable rate from N500 that it was during the 2015 fiasco to N360.
“We have also used this borrowing to finance fuel subsidy. The last one is the power sector subsidy. They are complaining that what supposed to have been done in the power sector hasn’t been done. So, the power sector is consuming a huge amount of foreign exchange that the government cannot sustain.
“Therefore, every Nigerian has paid for this strange 35 policies of which the number one on the agenda is the increase in the numbers of ministries. For a country that is currently (using) 90 percent of its revenue to service its debt, building new ministries and bringing new people into work is certainly not what you should tag as an achievement.”
Femi Adesina, the President’s media aide who was also a guest on the programme, reacted to the PDP Chieftain’s statement, noting regardless of the criticism, it does not change the fact that the government is at work and it continues to do what it has set out to do for the country.
“In a country of 200 million people, you will always have critics but it does not change the fact that the government is at work and it continues to do what it has set out to do for the country,” said Adesina.
“It is being said that the largest room in life is that of improvement. The ministers had been in office for one year and now is the opportunity to assess and in whatever they have fallen short, they can then improve.
“They can improve on coordination, they can improve on communication. That’s the opportunity that one year in four years gives you.”
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