The Federal Government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have slammed each other following the report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Nigeria’s economic growth.
The NBS had on Thursday, February 17, 2022, released a report stating that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.4 per cent in 2021.
In the report, the NBS said that, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.98%(year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2021, showing a sustained positive growth for the fifth quarter since the recession witnessed in 2020 when output contracted by -6.10% and -3.62% in Q2 and Q3 of 2020 under the Covid pandemic.
“The fourth quarter growth indicates a steady economic recovery accounting for an annual growth of 3.40% in 2021. The Q4 2021 growth rate was higher than the 0.11% growth rate recorded in Q4 2020 by 3.87% points and lower than 4.03% recorded in Q3 2021 by 0.05% points.
This according to the NBS is the highest the country has recorded in seven years.
But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) disagreed with the report.
The party argued that Nigeria’s economy could not have recorded any growth because of the ‘voodoo economics’ being implemented by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
In an interview with Punch, the party’s National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Debo Ologunagba, said Nigeria’s economy could not have grown amid the high level of insecurity and unemployment in the country.
He said, “This is the voodoo economics of Buhari. When you talk of economic growth it must have a direct impact on the lives of the people. If it is growth, it cannot grow downwards, growth goes upwards. We all know the economy of Nigeria has been going down.
“They say there was economic growth in the last quarter of last year when there were massive killings in the North-West? Growth has to do with production and human development index. So, what is the basis of this growth? We don’t have the right statistics.
“The APC government is filled with spin doctors and their stock in trade is lies and propaganda. This is not surprising because we are approaching an election year. They tried it in 2015 but now people know the facts. No matter how they manipulate figures, Nigerians now know the truth. Are Nigerians better today than they were six years ago?”
Ologunagba also said the NBS report was not credible because the agency might have been deceived by the data it got from the FG for the report.
Reacting, to the PDP’s argument on the report, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture said it was unfortunate that the PDP was sad over Nigeria’s progress.
He said that the PDP did not want any good about the country, saying the party was always quick to believe negative reports from the NBS.
He said, “A vibrant opposition is important in any democracy. However, we have an opposition that doesn’t want to hear anything good about the country and this administration. It is the same NBS that reported that the country was in recession. At that time, it was not fake or cooked.
“So, I think we should learn to believe in the country, we should understand that while opposition is very good for a vibrant democracy, a nihilistic opposition that sees nothing good in the administration should be condemned.”
The minister also advised the opposition party not to impugn the integrity of government agencies because they were not created by the ruling party.