• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Poor economic management, insensitive lifestyles of politicians made Nigeria poor – Soludo

Supreme court affirms Soludo as APGA’s guber candidate

Charles Soludo, the governor of Anambra state on Wednesday said Nigeria has become impoverished due to poor economic management and flamboyant lifestyles of the political heads at the expense of the people’s shared wealth.

Soludo while speaking at The Platform Nigeria, a programme organised by the Covenant Nation, in Lagos stated that the sheer display of wealth by the political elites make it difficult for the citizens to accept this reality, leading to various demands by the people.

He called for a new code of conduct for public office holders to enhance fiscal prudence while performing the core duties for whom they were elected.

“Nigeria is very poor and broke but lifestyles of politicians don’t reflect it. Leaders need to come clean to Nigerians on the state of our economy,” he said.

He noted that due to the sorry state of the country’s economy, Nigeria is now in the lower rank of the low-middle incomes countries.

The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria said Nigeria’s per capita income had risen to above $2,500 some years ago but has been compressed to about $1,200 due to poor economic management.

“We’re now at about 50% of where it was in 2014. Population ballooning and our per capita income is about $1,200,” Soludo said.

Speaking further on how Nigeria’s economy has fared over the years, the Anambra governor noted that the President Buhari’s administration illegally printed over N22 trillion and amassed public debt just to stay afloat while maintaining petrol, FX and electricity subsidies.

He lamented that Nigeria is now paying the very high cost of delayed fiscal and structural adjustments which have seen the economy tumbled with ballooning inflation, depreciation in exchange rates and a compressed GDP in dollar terms.

“The once largest economy in Africa is now the fourth with a dollar GDP lower than in 2010 or less than 50% where we were in 2014,” Soludo stated.

Arguing further on how poor the country has become, the Economics professor said Nigeria’s N28.7 trillion ($20 billion) 2024 budget is relatively low considering the nation’s population when compared to Kenya’s.

“Nigeria’s 7% budget-to-GDP ratio in 2024 is one of the lowest in the world with a population of about 230 million people or $83 per person in a year, approximately $6.9 per Nigerian in a month compared to Kenya’s budget of about $31 billion for just 54 million people amounting to $574 per person in a year,” he said.

Soludo noted that Nigeria has been borrowing to service both its current and recurrent expenditure for the past 14 years, indicating a growing debt profile.

Data from National Bureau of Statistics shows that Nigeria’s public debt stock rose to N97. 34 trillion (US$108.23 billion) in the last quarter of 2023 from from N87. 91 trillion (US$ 114.35 billion) in Q3 2023, indicating a growth rate of 10.73% on a quarter-on-quarter basis.

The former CBN governor however, clarified that President Bola Tinubu didn’t cause the spiraling economic crisis currently witnessed in the country, adding that it was bound to happen due to the structural reforms.

“Tinubu has the knowledge and courage to move Nigeria pass this crossroads,” he said.