The Presidency on Sunday said President Bola Tinubu’s administration was focused on solving Nigeria’s economic and security challenges.
It said the claim by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar that the government’s policies have created intense cost of living pressures was not grounded on facts “as recent comparative cost of living indices show that Nigerians still enjoy the lowest cost of living in Africa.”
It said while current reforms were causing immediate pains, they would usher in an era of prosperity in the medium and long term.
The Presidency also affirmed that it will not allow detractors to “stop the serious work of nation-building already set in motion,” claiming that Nigerians still enjoy the lowest living costs in Africa despite the soaring prices of basic commodities.
Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr Bayo Onanuga, said these in a statement on Sunday titled ‘Atiku Abubakar and his new hobby.’
Onanuga’s response followed accusations from the Peoples Democratic Party 2023 presidential candidate, Atiku, who said Tinubu’s economic policies are dashing hopes, creating pain, and causing despair among Nigerians.
In a statement he signed Sunday, Atiku argued that Tinubu’s poor response to the nation’s challenges is setting the stage for a prolonged and deeper economic crisis.
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.
Atiku said, “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.”
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.”
Onanuga said the former Vice President “should be honest enough to admit that President Tinubu inherited a weak economy,” which 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,” he said.
It added that reputable local and international agencies who understand the situation the Tinubu administration found itself in 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.”