By Kevwe Ebireri
The opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, says the recent ranking of Nigeria as the country with the largest economy in Africa is a mockery, as it fails to reflect on the lives of citizens who contend with soaring poverty and unemployment.
The interim national publicity secretary of the party, Lai Mohammed, compared the achievement with a latest World Bank report which declared Nigeria as one of the countries harbouring the largest population of poor people in the world, and said that the federal government has only succeeded in opening itself to ridicule.
Its reason for this position is that while Nigeria may be ranked as having that largest economy in Africa, it also has the largest population of unemployed, the largest population of citizens living in darkness, and the largest economy with the worst infrastructure.
“Simply put, there is too much poverty in the midst of plenty, and the so-called economic growth which the FG has been trumpeting with its dubious statistics is not a result of any deliberate government policies,” the APC said.
It said the federal government has only succeeded in temporarily diverting attention from “the pervasive and worsening insecurity in the land, the hopeless power situation that has seen Nigerians publicly protesting being thrown into perpetual darkness, the ticking time bomb of rising unemployment, especially among our youth, the unprecedented massive frittering away and looting of the commonwealth and the total absence of governance”.
The APC spokesman said with the rebased Gross Domestic Product, GDP, Nigeria is now ranked number 26 with regard to the size of the economy, but 147 in its ease of doing business report of the World Bank, out of the 189 countries profiled.
The Party therefore called on the administration to quit “shadow-chasing” and “unnecessary chest-beating” over its Africa largest economy status and come up with policies that would impact on the lives of citizens and push the country forward.