Nigerians became poorer during the first term of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, the Economist reports.
In a review of Buhari’s first four years which was displayed on its website on Thursday, the magazine noted that while the Nigerian economy was “stuck like a stranded truck,” average incomes fell during the four-year period covering 2015 to 2019.
According to the publication, the average income of Nigerians will not rise for at least another six years based on the thinking of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Economist stated that “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).
“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.”
“Where urgency is needed, Mr Buhari offers 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 per cent of federal revenues,” the Magazine added.
The Economist said 2018 subsidy was worth at least 0.5 per cent of the GDP, almost what Nigeria’s federal government spent on health care.
“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 programme and is working on a safety net for the poor, most citizens get few benefits from the state,” it added.
Proffering solution, the Economist said the Buhari government should harness the potential of its 200 million citizens.