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Tinubu Inherited A Dead Economy – Presidency

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In response to the New York Times article titled “Nigeria Confronts Its Worst Economic Crisis in a Generation,” Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, issued a detailed rejoinder, criticizing the report as misleading and overly negative.

Onanuga described the piece by Ruth Maclean and Ismail Auwal as “predetermined, reductionist, derogatory, and denigrating,” typical of the way foreign media portray African nations.

He emphasized that the economic challenges Nigeria faces were inherited by President Tinubu, who took office in late May 2023, and are not a result of the current administration’s policies.

“The report painted a dire picture of Nigeria’s economic situation, blaming the new administration’s policies without acknowledging the complex background and ongoing remedial measures,” Onanuga stated.

He highlighted significant reforms, such as the removal of the fuel subsidy and the unification of exchange rates, which aimed to stabilize an economy “bleeding” from years of mismanagement.

He said, “Most significant about the report was that it painted the dire experiences of some Nigerians amid the inflationary spiral of the last year and blamed it all on the policies of the new administration.

“The report, based on several interviews, is at best jaundiced, all gloom and doom, as it never mentioned the positive aspects in the same economy as well as the amelioration policies being implemented by the central and state governments.

“To be sure, President Tinubu did not create the economic problems Nigeria faces today. He inherited them. As a respected economist in our country once put it, Tinubu inherited a dead economy. The economy was bleeding and needed quick surgery to avoid being plunged into the abyss, as happened in Zimbabwe and Venezuela,” Onanuga argued.

Despite the challenges, Onanuga pointed out positive developments, including the stabilization of the naira, a trade surplus in Q1 2024, and renewed investor confidence. He also noted the administration’s efforts to address food inflation through increased agricultural production and various state-led initiatives to reduce food costs.

“Inflation is slowing down, and with continued reforms, we expect further economic improvements,” Onanuga assured, comparing Nigeria’s situation to global trends of rising living costs, which are also affecting countries like the USA and those in Europe.

He concluded on a hopeful note, reflecting the resilience of the Nigerian people: “Just like we overcame past economic difficulties, we shall overcome our present challenges very soon.”

 

Nelly Agwu is an educationist, a journalist, a Blogger, graduate of History. Very dynamic and a realist. A mouthpiece of the oppressed. Easy going and a Philanthropist.

GPBN Association

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