THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum rose from their meeting in Aba, Abia State on March 23, 2022 with a communique on the tale of woes the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government inflicted on Nigeria citizens.
They wrote that APC failed in all economic indices released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics especially as it relates to items driving the economy, Petrol, Diesel, Gas, Electricity among others.
THE meeting reviewed the excruciating hardship hardship and suffering being meted out to Nigerians by a failed APC led Federal Government; the near collapse of the APC as a viable political party, the readiness of the PDP to take over and offer qualitative leadership options to rescue the nation and issued the following Communique:
1. We lament the terrible pain and hardship facing Nigerians in virtually all aspects of life. The meeting noted that life was much better in 2015 under the PDP than today under the APC as exemplified in the following Comparative Indicators obtained mainly from the National Bureau of Statistics:
a. Diesel which is critical for running of SMEs was N131.47 in 2015, it now costs above N700
b. Fuel: Official and Black-Market was N87/155 in 2015, it now costs N167/350.
c. Aviation Fuel/Air Ticket Rate on Domestic Flights was N110 per Litre/N18,000 in 2015, it now hovers around N700 per Litre/N70,000, where available. Indeed, the scarcity of fuel which has resulted in loss of several man hours is a disgrace to Nigeria.
d. The collapse of the National Grid (126 times in 7 years – (June 2015 to March 2022) and its consequences for non-availability of power is most unfortunate.
e. Kerosene (NHK) used by the ordinary Nigerian for cooking and power was N180 in 2015, it now sells at ₦450.
f. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) – 12.5kg Cylinder sold for N2,400 in 2015, is now sold at between N8,750 and N10, 000.
g. Prices of basic food stuffs are now three times higher than what they used to be in 2015. Staple foods such as rice, beans, cassava flakes are now slipping out of the hands of average Nigerians. Indeed, a Bag of Rice sold for N8500 in 2015 is now N39,000.
h. Electricity was N14.23 per kilowatt in 2015, it is now N38.530, and not even available.
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i. Unemployment rate was 11.4% in 2015, it is now over 33%, one the highest in the world.
j. The poverty rate in 2015 was 11.3% but now about 42.8%.
k. Accumulated Inflation in 2015 was about 4%, it is now 15.50%; Inflation Rate was 9.01% in 2015 and now 15.7%.
l. Perhaps the Exchange Rate has been one of the most disastrous. N150 to a dollar was the parallel market (patronised by most businessmen and Nigerians) rate in 2015, it is now about N580 to $1 in the parrel market and still rising.
m. Debt and Debt Servicing:
Domestic Debt of N8.4T and External Debt of USD 7.3b was incurred between 1999-2015.
While Domestic Debt of N7.63T (June 2015-Dec 2020) and USD28.57b as at Dec 2020 was incurred. External debt of USD21.27b was incurred between June 2015 and 2021.
n. National Debt to GDP Ratio was 23.41% (2016) it is now 36.88% (2022).
o. The Corruption Index has risen from 136 in 2015 to 150 now.
p. Nigeria’s Misery Index, an indicator used in determining how economically well off the citizens of a country are, is usually calculated by adding the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to the annual inflation rate, has moved from 14.75 percent in 2015 to 50.48 (2021).
q. The major threat to the agricultural sector and food security in Nigeria is insecurity. In the northeast of Nigeria, it is estimated that no fewer than 70,000 hectares of arable farmland have been abandoned in the affected States and Local Government areas. The trend is the same all over the country. This further contributes to food inflation. The APC led Federal Government must take steps to cooperate with States to bring security down to the grassroots.