Economic hardship: FG tackles PDP governors, accuses them of playing to the gallery

Mohammed Idris, Information Minister
Mohammed Idris, Information Minister

 

The Federal Government disagreed with governors elected on the platform of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the economic hardship in the country, which they said is causing a lot of hunger and anger in the land.

The PDP governors’ views were echoed by their forum chairman and governor of Bauchi State, Sen. Bala Mohammed, who at a meeting of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT, said Nigeria is bleeding, there is a lot of hunger and anger, and there appears to be no good governance in the country.

He assured that the PDP would give a vibrant opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

In a quick counter, the Federal Government, in a statement by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, accused the PDP governors of playing to the gallery.

Idris said most of the PDP governors have not properly utilised increased federal allocations to improve the welfare of their people.

According to the minister, many PDP states are owing salaries, and pensions, and have done little or nothing to boost agriculture, only to turn round to blame the Federal Government.

“We welcome their call for a bipartisan approach to solving our nation’s economic and security problems.

“As critical stakeholders and leaders at the sub-national level, the PDP governors certainly have the right to state their positions on national concerns as is expected.

“However, as leaders in the country who are members of two important constitutional organs of government – the National Economic Council, which is the highest economic management organ of the country, and the National Council of States, we believe they did not conduct themselves in a manner befitting their roles as leaders.

“It is far-fetched when they, who are supposed to be major players in driving economic growth and prosperity for our citizens in their respective states, mischievously and falsely compare our current economic challenges to Venezuela.

“We want to state categorically that though our country is going through some rough patches, which are being addressed by the administration of President Bola Tinubu, our situation is nowhere near what is happening in Venezuela.

“The Nigerian economy is still very strong and is expected to record a three per cent GDP growth this year. The economy is meeting financial obligations to lenders at home and abroad.

“The Nigerian government is running effectively, and our government can pay all its bills while maintaining a healthy trade balance with trading partners worldwide,” Idris said.

He further explained that while opposition politicians are expected to play politics, it should be done within the bounds of truth and fidelity to facts.

According to him, It is unconscionable of PDP Governors to manipulate facts and misinform Nigerians about the country’s true state of affairs.

He stressed that since Tinubu assumed office, the revenue available to the three tiers of government has more than doubled.

“All 36 States, including the 774 local governments have been receiving significantly larger allocations on the back of the reforms being pursued by Tinubu to reposition our national economy.

“Nigerians should ask PDP Governors how far and how well they have utilised the increased revenue to better the lives of Nigerians in their respective states.

“It is on record that most States controlled by PDP owe workers and pensioners months of unpaid salary and pension arrears. They have defaulted in paying gratuities to their retired workers.

“It is also a fact that many of the PDP Governors have not paid N30,000 minimum wage to their workers since it took effect more than four years ago.

“All of these anomalies in their states contribute significantly to the economic pressure their citizens face.

“If PDP governors are genuinely interested in the living conditions of Nigerians and are not just stirring up disaffection and ill-will towards the Federal Government, we urge them to meet their obligations to workers, pensioners, and local contractors and see the multiplier effect.

“It is disappointing that they talk about rising costs of living and food when they have not done much to increase food production in their States. The land in Nigeria belongs to the States, not the Federal Government,” Idris stressed.

The minister accused the PDP governors of failing to tell Nigerians how they are supporting farmers in their states to boost food production – a responsibility that is strictly within their purview.

Instead, he said, they shift all the blame to the Federal Government, while shirking their own responsibilities to the people they govern.

He explained that the All Progressives Congress-led administration of President Tinubu is working assiduously to address the current challenges.

According to him, Tinubu is working with his security chiefs to eliminate all security threats wherever they exist within our borders,

He added that the country is getting results in the number of terrorists, bandits, and kidnappers that have either been killed or arrested in the past few weeks.

“The success of the efforts is also reflected in the over 700 abducted Nigerians who have been rescued from captivity.

“The Central Bank is addressing the problem of volatility in the exchange rate, and we are beginning to see stability that will eventually lead to the naira gaining its actual value against the dollar and other convertible currencies.

“We urge the PDP Governors to join their colleagues in the Nigerian Governors Forum, who are collaborating with President Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima to revamp our economy for Nigerians’ collective well-being,” Idris said. (NAN)

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