Nigerian govt lying about state of economy — Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday lambasted President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration over the state of the country’s economy, saying government was deceiving Nigerians with its claims of fantastic economic growth.

“What the public know or see of the economy is not what the economy truly is,” the former president told guests in Abuja at the public presentation of an autobiography of the former Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, ICPC, Mustapha Akanbi.

“The economy is in the doldrums, if not in reverse. The often-quoted GDP (gross domestic product) growth neither reflects on the living condition of most of our people, nor on most of the indigenous industries and services where capacity utilization is almost 50 per cent,” he added.

The Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had said during a recent media briefing in Abuja that “in spite of global uncertainty, the country’s economy continues to evolve with dynamism, stability and resilience riding on sound macroeconomic management, even in the face of oil price and quantity shocks.”

According to Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, the government’s strong macroeconomic management capacity had resulted in the country’s GDP growth (estimated at 6.5 per cent in 2013) being one of the fastest in the world (26th), with the recent GDP rebasing making the country the largest economy in Africa ahead of South Africa.

But the former president said the recent developments around the economy as a result of falling global oil prices are indications that such claims of superior economic performance are a farce, particularly the management of the proceeds from oil and gas resources, which shows the country did not adequately prepare rainy days.

He blamed the poor economic situation in the country on corruption, adding that the non-investment and disinvestment in the oil and gas sector by the major international oil companies had added another dimension to the issue.

Nigeria’s continued heavy dependence on oil resources, he noted, had not adequately prepared the country against any shock, pointing out that with the $78 per barrel benchmark proposed in the 2015 budget, it was clear the country would be in a bind if oil price fell to $75 per barrel.

“We had not adequately prepared for the rainy days in the management of proceeds from oil and gas resources. With crude oil purchase by the U.S. from Nigeria going down by some 30 per cent in the last three years as a result of shale oil revolution, things are not looking up in the oil and gas sector, and hence, in the economy,” he noted.

Referring to the prediction by the International Energy Agency, IEA, that global crude oil price would continue to fall through the first half of 2015 and even to the end of the year, Mr. Obasanjo said with the shale oil revolution and U.S. self-sufficiency in energy as well as possibility of her becoming a net exporter, the country must re-strategize to survive.

If nothing is done to check the situation, the former president said the country may in future find it difficult to fund its budget and may have to borrow to pay salaries and allowances.

Revenue allocations to states and local governments, he noted, had already drastically reduced in recent times, with capital projects at all levels drastically cut or stopped.

Though the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Tuesday announced the immediate devaluation of the Naira by 8.38 per cent to stem crashing value of the national currency, Mr. Obasanjo warned that sooner or later the country may be compelled to drastically devalue again without any benefit to the commodity economy.

“We will all sink deeper in poverty, except for those who have corruptly stashed money abroad and who will start to bring such illegal and illegitimate funds back home to harvest more Naira. All the economic gains of recent years and the rebuilding of the middle class may be lost.

“In the end, more businesses will close down, business men and women, entrepreneurs and investors will incur more debts. Foreign investors may temporarily stop investing in a downturn economy. Because of the Naira depreciation, workers, particularly in the public sector, will ask for pay increase, which may be justified, but will sink us deeper in the swamp.

“The scenario, which may sound alarmist, is hard to imagine, but the signs are there, and it would appear that those who should act are dancing foxtrot, while their trousers are catching fire,” Mr. Obasanjo said.


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  • abbadd

    Everything about the current administration of GEJ IS FULL OF LIES AND DECEIT. Anyone who follows or supports them is simply blind and has refused to see the light.

    • Otile

      Everything about Hajiya Turai’s adminstration was full of lies and deceit. As a matter of fact, right from Col Jack Gowon’s regime everything about Nigerian government has been full of lies and deceit. Do you know how much Jack wasted buying bombs and mercenaries to commit genocide? Do you know how much Gen Abusalami buried in his backyard in Birnin Minna cikin jihara Naija?

      • Guguru

        Since you know how much Jack wasted and how much Abusalami buried in his backyard, why don’t you tell us , oh vessel of great and uninformed knowledge? And you actually saw Abusalami burying things in his backyard? On what wall were you perched as a fly and observing these things you say that sound more like day dreams and fables than they are of reality?

  • Otile

    Ever since Obasanjo was denied 3rd term rule he has been doing everything in his power to demonize the government in power. He did this to Yar’Adua and now he is doing it Jonathan. People will still survive when Obasanjo is gone.

  • Des Rees

    General Obasanjo has only superficial knowledge of economics and worse without the actual facts.
    Once i read this report to the point where Obasanjo asserted confidently, but wrongly, that US oil
    imports from Nigeria reduced by 30% in the last three years i felt no need to continue reading ignorance.
    I know that in actual fact U.S oil import from Nigeria as at today is zero – not 70% of 2011 imports.

    • Abutu

      Where do you get your fact. Crosscheck Baba is right you are wrong.

    • T

      You leave the Object and concerned ur self with the Subject and u think u are not ignorant. The subject Baba was cautioning us was about our state of economy, to be prepare for the worst. With your revelation it means Baba is not only right but that we have more to fear, that our major customers have not only stopped buying 30% of our goods but they are not buying anything at all, which means our situation is more sorry than Baba is cautioning

      • Otile

        If that is actually what your baba meant to say why is it you that have to explain it well? So, @Des Res is right that your baba has only superficial knowledge of economics. So why can’t he shut up and let his paid experts explain the substance?

  • Aliyu

    Baba has said it all, he may seems pessimistic, but its true we are heading back to 1979. His boy has washed away all the good economic policies put in place, although its Baba that put us in this situation by institutionalizing electoral fraud. But Baba is far far far better than the evil IBB and co, at least he stil behave as a responsible senior Citizen of Nigeria by risking his life to talk and show remorse for past mistakes

    • Otile

      Your baba has said nothing. When he allowed sharia to corrode the North what was he thinking? He thought he would allow them enjoy their sharia while they would hand him his 3rd term. Little did he know that he created an everlasting monster that will haunt Northern Nigeria for decades to come.

      • Aliyu

        For your info Baba has nothing to do with Sharia, in fact Sharia has been in our constitution ever since the law allowed state legislators to make laws binding on their states. The Sharia courts and Sharia Law were there before our parents were born. Yarima cost the Muslims when he played politics with Sharia in the name of relaunching and the Muslim community were blind by sentiments and couldnt see the danger of what he was doing. The truth is easy to say if your mind is open to it

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      BABA OF THE THIEVES AND LOOTERS !
      NATIONAL COACH AND TRAINER OF POLITICAL CRIMINALITY !
      OBJ should just give us a break,he is a pre-historic dinosaur,his days of deception are over !!

  • Aliyu Titi

    Those saying OBJ did worst than Jona simply didnt have the figures, Infact Jona did worst than anyone including Shagari. Meanwhile OBJ economically did better than everyone, second by Gowan, Simply google and the indices are there for u, although corruption was no doubt very visible at his time. About $36B external debt resolved, about $40B saved in excess crude acnt, about $60B left in federal researve from less than $5B in May 1999, about $16B released for electricity (although alot stolen but significant amount utilized for a number of gas plants). Before stating any of his project you can clearly see over $120B utilized in 8yrs. Total revenue OBJ received in 8yrs is not significantly different from revenue Jona received in 6yrs, Petrol sold an average around N50 per litre in OBJs 8yrs. Numerous new job oppotunities in Banking, Insurance, Stock Broking, Telecoms, revenue agencies, Paramilitary and so on. Corrupt officers started watching their back for the second time in our history (although approach was selective)…….He came in when nothing was working and left when everything was workable. Hand over power to a different tribe and religion in order to foster unity and cohesion, and the person was generally adjudged to be a visionary (remember, some of the healthy people criticizing Yaraduas ill health died b4 him, e.g. Abubakar Rimi). OBJ world simply have been twice better than Mandela if he hadnt bastardize the electoral system

    • Otile

      You are comparing apples and oranges. Col Arna Jack Gowon ruled for 9 donkey years, killed 2 million children, sank Nigeria into horrible debt until Murtala kicked him out. Ogagun Matthew Obasanjo ruled for 10 yrs, committed genocide at Odi, and gave no account of the oil he controlled.

      President Jonathan upon coming to Abuja was saddled with Islamic violence, and evil APC. It is almost like Jonathan is fighting two wars, northwards boko haram, nationwide APC. Who can fight two wars and still achieve anything in just one term?

      • Guguru

        Otile,

        Fighting APC is now a war in your mind? Are you on some advanced kai kai or other alternative eye-openers or what? Who saddled Jonathan with Boko Haram—-ghosts of Otuoke, Jona’s criminals, etc? Jona has a choice of resigning his post today if he wants to do so since he enjoys being a mediocre. This way, he will be saddled with nothing, abi? He can drop the saddle and row his boat back to Otuoke this minute, can he not? LOL

        • Otile

          How is APC sector not real war? Did you not watch the gate crashing in Abuja? If David Mark had not closed the session don’t you know that the blood of dogs and baboons APC Buhari threatened would soak the House of Assembly floor? Man, open your eyes and accept reality.

          • Guguru

            Otile,

            Are you okay today? And it was okay for Jonathan to hang out with a BH terror sponsor called Ali Modu Sheriff? Do you hang out with terror sponsors or do you arrest them? See picture of Jona in a disgraceful meeting with a terror sponsor. Is Jona part of BH?

      • Aliyu Titi

        Its either u do not know the apples or u do not know the oranges or both, or in fact your eyes are on your foot

        • Otile

          Explain yourself, so far you have said nothing.

  • Val

    Obj is the number 1 evil and criminally minded of the country. What was his achievement for 8 yrs rule? Corruption, deception hypocrisy and self centered mr know all. Nobody should listen to him cos he is full of lies even to his children

    • tundemash

      OBJ’s achievement? If you are sincere enough, atleast you would credit him with the fact that he bequeathed this nation with two sick men; one had no kidney and the other had no brain !

  • Guguru

    Obasanjo,

    You are the real father of the nation. Thank you for making a strong and reasonable case against Jona and his magical economy he claims he is growing. Nigerians are being fooled by Jona to accept mediocrity as true performance. Jona is running an economic kleptocracy and a political militocracy. Baba, thank you for your service to the nation.

    • Otile

      Not until you impose another Fulani on us your minds will not be at rest. Sugbon Oluwa ma je.

      • Guguru

        Was that comment meant for your invisible friend or who were you referring to?

      • T

        u have an imbecile mind otherwise u should be thinking of another economy instead of another Fulani

  • sammyctu ode

    Okonjo-Iweala is a blatant lier and a woman of no honor. How can Nigeria GDP grow by 6.5% when we are a nation of importers? What do we really manufacture in this country? Just yesterday, CNN and other International business news reported that the USA growth rate has been revised from 3.5% to 3.9% which did not come from Obama administration but by economic independent experts based on goods & services and other economic indicators like consumer spending, etc. President Obasanjo is right. That was how the Great Chief Awolowo warned the Shargari government about the state of our economy and the ruling NPN party cursed him but less than six months later, the Nigerian economy CRASHED. Why is okonjo-Iweala deceiving Nigerians especially having worked with WB, can she give WB all these voodoo figures and lies without losing her job? She should stop playing politics and with the lives of Nigerians – Shameless woman.

    • emmanuel

      wetin you know?

      Telecoms growing, Locals buying Shell investments and improving on them, Rice Farms increasing at light years speed, Cassava farming same withing two years, Local fih trawling growing, Lots of Sino investment in the manufacturing sector, Car Assemblies churning out cars

      Ask Obasanjo what he did. Let him tell us the basis of the state of the economy. When the woman said we must use lower bench mark for Crude this year, you all said Tambuwal grand standing on higher figure was the best thing that happened in Nigeria Legislature. Your shame is now on Lower Oil prices. Is it not time you mumus give thumb up for the woman?

      Na for una to talk without indicies or data. Wetin dey worry una sef? Do you expect income to flow same way years back like the last two years when importation has almost been proscribed in a number of sectors where local activities have been jump started?

      • Okemute1

        You have a very difficult but silly job of trying to sell the unsellable. I don’t envy you at all. Even a mad man know things are hard! He can’t find food in the dustbin anymore.

        • tundemash

          simply put, a madman is aware of what is going on than the loose canon !

        • emmanuel

          I do not need to sell her, Because i know very well what is happening and she is one of the best things that has happened to Nigeria in years.

          I play in fianciancial services, Maritime and Oil and Gas, so i operate where Nigeria economic existence stands and i know so well how activities have moved from one sector to another.

          I have a Department engaged in Clearing and Freight forwarding and know that once import of Rice, Fish, Used vehicles etc dropped, Clearing, Shipping agencies and Terminal operators would record drop in their revenues, including customs (and the bribe portion of customs officers).

          Ordinarily, Excise taxes were supposed to grow simultaneously, but becuase of uincentives offered to jump start productions in the home sectors the excise thing which should have covered up Import duties gap is not as high.

          People who lack knowledge and exposure talk because they are paid to. Even Lai Mohammed lack depth and class in economic analysis, how much more scungers like you.

          Is there anywhere in the world where cashflow remain the same for a nation engaged in sectoral reforms? A mamalm is a mallam any day!

  • MushinSpeaks

    Taking the words of Iweala as truth and fact is at one’s detriment. Nigerians cannot be fooled any longer.

    The economy is in a sorry state and we ask, when the boom was on, what did they do with the Excess crude oil account that they are now jittery over the economy?

    Is it not a shame that GEJ led Federal Government cannot plan for the future?

    Change we need; change must come.

    • emmanuel

      sharap.

      Your people over the years created all kinds of MDA’s for sharing national cake (over-bloated recurrent expenditure over capital that this regime is trying to reverse with so much inconveniences) for your majority tribes through quoata employments, same reason it has become increasingly difficult to implement Orosanye report, because the campaign of so many people loosing job while trying to create more jobs is now the blackmail point, while in real sense is that your majority tribes will losse so many jobs.

      How can a future be planned within a day for a system that has been killed for over fifty years. Jonathan na winch abi? yeye people !

      You want Nigeria to continue import reliance, na lie una dey talk. Yoruba and Igbo enjoyment from import and clearing agency negatively impacted by stoppage of imports in some sectors, Foolanis enjoyment of bribes from the imports impacted also by drop in imports, why una nor go cry blue murder?

  • NazirJos

    God save us and give us a positive direction.

  • favourtalk

    The minister should come out and lie to nigerian again, it’s a pity that a woman cannot lead this nation prior to the example of attitudes that those two most powerful women in his cabinet has showed nigerians that we matters not by lying to the whole nation about our economy, PDP is a party that encourages failure and we will do justice to them in 2015. By his grace, we will change hand

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  • Maria

    This government’s foundation is laid on fraud.

    • emmanuel

      worse than your fraud?

      A Foolani man who says he is Maria. Can there be a worse fraud?

      • Maria

        Really, a foolani man from ijebuigbo…. yes…omo ale niyalaya e… eyin omo aijobe ri tinjabe saya…oloriibu.

        • Otile

          Maria, don’t brag with Yoruba language. Many Nigerians including Edo, Fulani, Gowon’s Shawshaw plus Dahomeans cum Togolese can speak the language well. When you go to England and say you are from 9ja some English people will surprise you with the greeting of E karo. You know what I am talking about, don’t you?

          • Maria

            That is the second language i speak… it is not about bragging… I dont care even if the portuguese speak it.

  • Bidemi Lukman

    We appreciate OBJ’s sincere assessement of GEJ administration. Having said all these, what is the solution. If OBJ is sincere, let him join Nigerians to kick out GEJ come 2015

  • shamsuddeen

    Baba e don do o! Jonathan na your pikin, As far as we are concern we never know Jonathan na you bring out o! Baba pray for him to change since he has refused to heed your calls.

  • Iluyomade

    People are quick tot forget good deeds. Is it not the same Okonjo-Iweala that helped secure debt relief during Obasanjo’s regime. Ha now she is now a liar?

    • Otile

      The reason is simple. It has to do with the ethnicity of the president. When OBJ was the president everybody was happy, his achieves were highlighted. Looting ministers like F Kayode were saints, Yoruba people thought the good time would never end.

      When the Hausa Foolani were ruling, Lukman and Ciroma them bankrupted Nigeria siphoning their loots to Dubai, Suadi Arabia, and other lands. Nobody said anything, their Yoruba co-looters praised them knowing that they can always get their turn.

      Now that the president is an Ijaw man east of the Niger all hell has broken loose. Yorubas cannot see any good in Jonathan. Even Dr Iweala who was a saint in Obasanjo’s administration is now seen as a villain. They want their Fulani man back, today and tomorrow.

  • Sanmi Falae

    Telling us about ourselves – i.e a given, or what we already know far better than yourself- offers no solution. Rather, please tell us about America’s debt; or Europe’s emerging political and economic unravelling. There are plenty of lessons in those for everyone to take away.