•Says NBS report on job loss terrible
Success Nwogu and Ogbonnaya Ikokwu
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday said Nigeria’s economy was in bad shape because members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic team do not posses what it takes to turn the economy of the country around.
Atiku said if voted into office in 2019, he would use the knowledge he had garnered from many years of serving as a public officer and being in business to turn the economy around.
He spoke in Aba, during a town hall meeting he had with representatives of the business community.
The presidential candidate said he was in the South-East to interact with businessmen from the zone because of the role they played in the economic development of the country and West Africa.
He said he would do whatever was obtainable within the confines of the law to promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
He said, “I am aware of your challenges because I am a business man like you. Whatever that is your pain is also my pain. I face the same challenges you are facing, but the only thing we can do to change the situation is to change the government in power now.
“This present government lacks the understanding and the capacity to turn our economy around, nor promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“We would ensure that policies that would encourage businesses to thrive in Nigeria are put in place.”
Atiku said the nation could not afford to have a population of 15 million unemployed youths.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate in a statement by his media aide, Paul Ibe, described the latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics that 20.93m Nigerians had lost their jobs under Buhari as terrible and catastrophic.
He said the implication was that the unemployed population in Nigeria was twice the population of Benin Republic.
He said Nigeria could not continue to be run by an administration that lacked solution to the country’s socio-economic and political challenges.
He said, “We expected a terrible job report, particularly with the comment on live television from the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, that President Buhari had ordered the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, to fudge the latest job reports.
“However, the job report released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, November 19, 2018, is not just terrible, it is catastrophic. It shows that under the APC administration, a whopping 20.93m Nigerians have lost their jobs!
“To put this in perspective, the unemployed population in Nigeria is now twice the population of Benin Republic!”
He added, “Nigeria cannot continue like this, especially with an administration that continues to blame others for things that they should find solutions to with the latest ridiculous episode being President Buhari’s blaming of former President Jonathan for his own inability to appoint ministers for six months, an action that is directly responsible for the sorry state of unemployment in Nigeria.”
The former vice-president urged Nigerians to note that a President who could not create jobs or wealth in his own private business could not create jobs or wealth for the public. (Punch)