Over 23 million Nigerians have lost their jobs since Muhammadu Buhari became the nation’s president, according to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, also lamented that Nigeria’s economy was “crawling” instead of growing, and Nigerians were miserable under Buhari’s rule.
“The Nigerian economy is crawling rather than growing,” the PDP standard-bearer stated.
The former vice president noted that per capita income, “a measure of citizens’ well-being, has progressively fallen since 2015 because of declining output and a fast-growing population.”
He added, “Nigerians are worse off today than they were in 2015.”
“More Nigerians are poorer and more miserable today than in 2015,” Abubakar further stated.
“Basic commodities are now beyond the reach of the average Nigerian. A loaf of bread costs 100 per cent more today than it did in 2020.”
Abubakar, Nigeria’s vice president between 1999-2007, disclosed this while speaking on Tuesday at the Private Sector Economic Forum organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos.
“Under the present administration, our people are not working. More than 23 million people are out of jobs,” Abubakar claimed. “In just five years between 2015 and 2020, the number of fully employed people dropped by 54 per cent, from 68 million to 31 million people.”
The opposition presidential candidate was once in the same party, APC, as Buhari.
On Friday, however, Buhari claimed the Nigerian economy was growing under his leadership despite the COVID-19 pandemic disruption, Russia-Ukraine war and internal crises besetting the country.
“In this period, challenges faced by the world have been many, including lockdowns as COVID-19 raged; disruptions to supply chains around the world, and sharp fluctuations in prices,” the Nigerian leader explained.
“Our economy continues to grow despite the adverse effects of rising interest rates, a stronger U.S. dollar and higher inflation across the world.”