FG blasts PDP govs for comparing Nigerian economy with Venezuela

… Asks them to account for increased revenue from subsidy removal

The federal government has Tuesday berated governor’s elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for comparing Nigerian economy with that of Venezuela.

The minister of information and national orientation Alhaji Mohammed Idris stated this in a statement he personally signed and made available to journalists in Abuja.

He said: “As critical stakeholders and leaders at the sub-national level, the PDP governors certainly have the right to state their position on national concerns as is expected.

“However, as leaders in the country who are members of two important constitutional organs of government – the National Economic Council, which is the highest economic management organ of the country, and the National Council of States, we believe the PDP governors did not conduct themselves in a manner befitting their roles as leaders.

“It is far-fetched when PDP governors, who are supposed to be major players in driving economic growth and prosperity for our citizens in their respective states, mischievously and falsely compare our current economic challenges to Venezuela.”

While admitting that the country is going through some rough patches, which are being addressed by the administration of President Tinubu, he said the situation in the country is nowhere near what is happening in Venezuela.

“The Nigerian economy is still very strong and is expected to record a 3% GDP growth this year. The economy is meeting financial obligations to lenders at home and abroad.

“The Nigerian government is running effectively, and our government can pay all its bills while maintaining a healthy trade balance with trading partners worldwide.

“While opposition politicians are expected to play politics, it should be done within the bounds of truth and fidelity to facts. It is unconscionable of PDP Governors to manipulate facts and misinform Nigerians about our country’s true state of affairs,” he said.
The minister asked the governor’s to rather account to the increased revenue acrue to them since president Bola Ahmed Tinubu assumed office on May 29 2023 instead of unfounded criticisms of the economic policies of the federal government.

Idris also said the inability of PDP governor’s to pay salaries, pensions and gratuity in their states contributed significantly to the economic pressure being faced by citizens in their states.

He said: “Since President Tinubu assumed office, the revenue available to the three tiers of government has more than doubled. All 36 states, including the 774 Local Governments, have been receiving significantly larger allocations on the back of the reforms being pursued by President Tinubu to reposition our national economy.

“Nigerians should ask PDP Governors how far and how well they have utilised the increased revenue to better the lives of Nigerians in their respective states.

“It is on record that most states controlled by PDP owe workers and pensioners months of unpaid salary and pension arrears. The PDP Governors have defaulted in paying gratuities to their retired workers. It is also a fact that many of the PDP Governors have not paid N30,000 minimum wage to their workers since it took effect more than 4 years ago. All of these anomalies in their states contribute significantly to the economic pressure their citizens face.”

He said if PDP governors are genuinely interested in the living conditions of Nigerians and are not just stirring up disaffection and ill-will towards the federal government, they should meet their obligations to workers, pensioners, and local contractors and see the multiplier effect.

“It is disappointing that PDP Governors talk about rising costs of living and food when they have not done much to increase food production in their States. The land in Nigeria belongs to the States, not the federal government.

“PDP Governors, in their communique yesterday, did not tell Nigerians how they are supporting farmers in their states to boost food production – a responsibility that is strictly within their purview. Instead, they shift all the blame to the Federal Government, while shirking their own responsibilities to the people they govern,” he said.
The minister added that the All Progressives Congress-led administration of President Tinubu is working assiduously to address the current economic challenges, saying the efforts are already yielding results.

He said: “The President is working with his security chiefs to eliminate all security threats wherever they exist within our borders, and we are getting results in the number of terrorists, bandits, and kidnappers that have either been killed or arrested in the past few weeks.
“The success of the efforts is also reflected in the over 700 abducted Nigerians who have been rescued from captivity.

“The Central Bank is addressing the problem of volatility in the exchange rate, and we are beginning to see stability that will eventually lead to the naira gaining its actual value against the dollar and other convertible currencies.”

He urged the PDP governors to join their colleagues in the Nigerian Governors Forum, who are collaborating with President Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima to revamp our economy for Nigerians’ collective well-being.