In a recent report by the Economist, it claims that Nigerians became poorer during the first term of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
According to the report shared on its website on Thursday, insisting that while the Nigerian economy was “stuck like a stranded truck,” average incomes fell during the four-year period covering 2015 to 2019.
“The Nigerian economy is stuck like a stranded truck. Average incomes have been falling for four years; the IMF thinks they will not rise for at least another six (years), it said.
“The latest figures put unemployment at 23 per cent, after growing for 15 consecutive quarters.
“Some 94 million people live on less than $1.90 a day, more than in any other country, and the number is swelling. By 2030, a quarter of very poor people will be Nigerians, predicts the World Data Lab, which counts such things,” it added.
The website also reported that the naira was overvalued because the government had spent decades neglecting basic public goods such as roads, schools, and electricity supply.
“Where urgency is needed, Mr. Buhari offers the only caution. Few are holding their breath for any more drive in his second term, which began on May 29th.
“Yet officials are postponing a crisis, not averting one. Consider borrowing. The debt-to-GDP ratio is 28 per cent, but Nigeria collects so little in tax that interest payments swallow about 60 percent of federal revenues,” it started further.
It also advised that the removal of petrol subsidy would make public finances healthier — If the government raised the price of fuel, which is imported by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and sold on at a loss.
“Politicians are scared to end the subsidy. An attempt to do so in 2012 led to massive protests.
“Although the government has expanded the school-feeding program and is working on a safety net for the poor, most citizens get few benefits from the state,” it also said.
According to the report, the government must harness the potential of its 200 million citizens, for the country to prosper.