By Lateef Ibrahim
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to get more competent hands to work on the economy, develop strategies to strengthen the naira and paddle the nation out of the current economic quandary.
The PDP has similarly demanded that the N1.3 trillion set aside to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the economy be allocated to the three tiers of government for effective delivery and monitoring.
The leading opposition party said this yesterday at a press conference addressed by its National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja.
The PDP further enjoined the federal government to end its exclusionist policies and allow competent Nigerians, who are now being engaged by other countries, to help out.
The Buhari-led APC administration, the party said should immediately cut down the size of its over-bloated government and plug waste by clipping the luxury expenditure of the presidency, cabinet ministers and other executive appointees while channeling billions of naira to be saved to national economy.
The PDP noted that nation is currently in shambles with a drifting economy, a devalued currency (N380 to a dollar), collapsed infrastructure, a frightening 23.1% unemployment rate, high cost of essential goods, increased morbidity rate, reduced life expectancy and a despondent citizenry leaving our country in droves.
This situation, the party stressed, was worsened with the reckless foreign borrowing by the APC and its administration which today stands at an alarming $108 billion with no productive repayment plan; funds which have been exposed as being frittered and stolen by APC leaders and the cabal.
Ologbondiyan, in his address at the press conference, said, “President Buhari should immediately end all tactless economic policies, accept failure, seek help and get more competent hands to work on the economy, develop strategies to strengthen the naira as well as paddle our nation out of the current economic quandary.
“The Government should end its exclusionist policies and allow competent Nigerians, who are now being engaged by other countries, to help out.
“The Buhari-led APC administration should immediately cut down the size of its over-bloated government and plug waste by clipping the luxury expenditure of the Presidency, cabinet ministers and other executive appointees while channeling billions of naira to be saved to national economy.
“The Buhari-led administration should also shelve every plan of increasing the already excruciating taxes including the Value Added Tax (VAT) which it increased from 5% to 7.5%, with an attendant high costs on essential goods and services.
“The Federal Government, in its plans to review the 2020 budget, should not touch items that have direct bearings on the welfare of Nigerians but immediately cut all over-bloated executive votes as well as expunge paddings and fraudulently duplicated items, which our party initially pointed out in the budget.
“The Buhari Presidency should immediately take steps to recover the over N14 trillion stolen by APC cabals, including the N9trillion stolen oil money as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo and channel same to social palliatives.
“The PDP is worried over allegations of corruption in handling of the N1.3 trillion set aside to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the economy. Our party demands ultimate transparency.
“The Federal Government should come clean on the source of the intervention, the specific intervention projects where the fund will apply, the level of involvement of other tiers of government and private stakeholders, as well as the mode of disbursements and monitoring.
“The PDP demands that the COVID-19 interventions be allocated to the three tiers of government for effective delivery and monitoring”, he said.
The PDP further called on all economic stakeholders, particularly in the private sector, to immediately rally to articulate solutions and palliative measures, “since it is clear that the Buhari-led APC government is clueless and has no solution to offer”.
The PDP urged the economic stakeholders to articulate ways to effectively diversify the nation’s economy and provide jobs using the all-inclusive measures implemented by PDP administrations to effectively grow the economy as well as successfully handle emergencies such as the Ebola virus disease.