Nigeria’s cost of living lowest in Africa, says presidency

Amidst rising inflation, the Presidency asserted on Sunday that Nigerians are experiencing the lowest living costs in Africa.

The statement by Special Adviser Bayo Onanuga emphasized President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to addressing economic and security issues, acknowledging short-term pains for long-term prosperity.

This response came after accusations from Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 PDP presidential candidate, criticizing Tinubu’s economic policies for causing despair and deepening the economic crisis.

Atiku said, “The economy’s performance has, in recent weeks and months, been a subject of intense discourse among Nigerian citizens at home and abroad. Nigerians are gravely concerned, and rightly so, that Tinubu’s poor response to Nigeria’s economic challenges is setting the stage for a prolonged and deeper domestic economic crisis.

“His economic policies, drawn from a so-called Renewed Hope Agenda, are ironically dashing hopes, creating pain and causing despair. The private sector is shrinking by the day as small businesses are emasculated and as Multinational Companies, confused and weary of the economy, leave Nigeria in droves. The intense cost of living pressures has created more misery for the poor in towns and villages. There is hunger in the land as basic commodities, including BREAD, are becoming out of reach for average Nigerians.

“BAT has shown no capacity to deal with the adverse and disastrous impact of the new subsidy regime on the people and businesses and the new foreign exchange policy, which provides for a free-floating exchange rate. His initiatives are uninformed, arbitrary, and chaotic. BAT’s palliatives are too mean, pitiable, and contemptuous of the poor. He seems genuinely lost, bewildered, and overwhelmed.”

But the Presidency faulted Atiku’s assertions about the rising cost of living saying, “His claim that the government’s policies have created intense cost of living pressures are also not grounded on facts as recent comparative cost of living indices show that Nigerians still enjoy the lowest cost of living in Africa.”

“Atiku’s claims that the private sector is shrinking and that multinational companies are leaving our companies in ‘droves’ are not grounded on facts,” it added.Onanuga said the former Vice President “should be honest enough to admit that President Tinubu inherited a weak economy,” which, to all intents and purposes…needs a complete overhaul.

“Nigerians can easily see through the hypocrisy of Alhaji Atiku, who in accusing President Tinubu of poor response to the nation’s challenges and causing pains and despair, didn’t offer any better policy options in his run for the Presidency different from the economic reform agenda being pursued by President Tinubu,” the statement further read.

It added that reputable local and international agencies who understand the situation the Tinubu administration found itself have commended the administration, having seen a policy trajectory that is clearly positive, realistic and sustainable.The Presidency noted that the administration has also embarked on comprehensive fiscal and tax policy reform that will drive speedy recovery and spur economic growth and therefore its detractors “cannot stop the serious work of nation-building already set in motion by President Tinubu.”

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