The Special Assistant on Public Communication to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Phrank Shaibu, has said that the latest inflation figure of 26.72% and food inflation of 30.6% underscored the incompetence and cluelessness of the President Bola Tinubu administration.
Shaibu made this known in a statement released on Tuesday that Tinubu’s disingenuous removal of petrol subsidy, shoddy exchange rate unification policy, and uninformed introduction of VAT on diesel were among the reasons for the high inflation rate.
He also added that Tinubu’s declaration of a state of emergency on food security was nothing but mere rhetoric as food prices had continued to soar coupled with a hike in the cost of transportation and dilapidated federal roads that had made interstate travel unbearable.
Shaibu said: “Food prices in several parts of the world are dropping. However, they are increasing in Nigeria because the country is being governed by an economic Lilliputian whose only bragging right is increasing the revenue of Lagos State through multiple taxation and the institutionalisation of extortion.
“He knows nothing about exchange rate, monetary policy, or even how to run a multi-ethnic and largely agrarian country like Nigeria. This was a man who said last year that the only way to solve unemployment was to employ 50 million youths into the army and feed them with ‘Agbado (corn), cassava and ewa (beans)”. How can such a man have the answers to Nigeria’s problems?”
He added: “Even at a time when he is calling on everyone to tighten their belts, he inaugurated the largest cabinet in Nigeria’s history and is set to plunge Nigeria deeper into more debt.
“He declared an emergency in food security, ordered the release of grains, and reviewed his earlier palliative plan, but 100 days since the so-called declaration of a state of emergency, Nigerians are hungrier and poorer. It is obvious that it was all a ruse to deceive the feeble-minded, just like his announcement on the lifting of the UAE visa ban.”
“Under Tinubu’s watch, the inflation rate has risen steadily from 22.79% in June to 24.08% in July to 25.80% in August and now 26.72% in September. Food inflation has also moved steadily from 25.25% in June to 30.6%.
“If this certificate forger is allowed to continue in office for another year, the inflation rate could rival that of the Sani Abacha regime which saw the inflation rate peak at 72.84% in 1995, the highest in Nigeria’s history. This was at a time also that Nigeria was facing stiff sanctions.”
Shaibu said from all indications that the Nigerian government had secretly reintroduced subsidies on petrol, hence the huge gap between the prices of petrol on the one hand and those of kerosene and diesel on the other hand.
He said: “Nigerians should not be deceived by the antics of this government. They have secretly reintroduced subsidies on petrol. That is why the price of petrol has remained stable while the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas have all gone up.
“How can the price of crude oil and forex go up, and the price of petrol remains static? Is it possible for the cost of rice to go up and the cost of fried rice, which has ingredients such as green pepper, green peas, and salt, remains static? It makes no sense!
“Foreign investors are aware of the lies being told by the Tinubu administration, hence their decision not to take him seriously.”