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Nigeria not prosperous, MBPF, NESG reply Buhari

MAN: FG needs to harness human devt

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Middlebelt Patriotic Front (MPF) yesterday faulted the claims by President Muhammadu Buhari that Nigeria is the most prosperous black nation in the world. This is coming as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) said harnessing potential is the biggest challenge confronting Nigeria’s economy.

President Buhari had, while unveiling the official logo the country’s 60th Independence Anniversary on Wednesday, said Nigeria is the most prosperous black nation in the world. The MPF described the abundance of resources that Nigeria is blessed with, as a curse, noting that the acclaimed prosperity cannot be justified, since the majority of Nigerians are poor. Speaking through its convener, Ibrahim Bunu, the MPF asked why the country is ranked among the poorest, if Nigeria is really blessed. “Everyone knows that Nigeria used to be the most prosperous black nation in the world, but now corruption is the order of the day.

Insecurity has taken over, the economy is worse, Nigerians are becoming poorer and debt has taken over the country. There is bad leadership,” he said. He also explained that the President was not in a position to make such claims, having failed to take good leadership steps in ensuring that the citizens benefit from the resources.On its part, the NESG, which spoke through its Chief Executive Officer, Laoye Jaiyeola, said other countries are doing better economically, despite the acclaim leadership of the most populous black nation.

He also said the statement is true judging by the level of the GDP of the country. Jaiyeola said: “Though Nigeria’s economy is rated as the largest economy in Africa, however, going by other indices, Nigeria still lacks behind other Africa countries with most of the smaller countries in the continent faring better than Nigeria. “Prosperous, I don’t know, but if the largest economy is the same thing as prosperous, then yes. But if you let me know what is prosperous, maybe then I will know. If prosperous means the largest economy, yes, we are the most populous black economy in the world,” he said. However, he said though GDP was what was used in rating the performance of any country’s economy, it does not give an accurate picture because of other indices that are not factored into it.

He said: “If you look at the indices all over the world in measuring GDP, we all know that GDP is not the best because a number of people will look at the Human Capital Development Index but in terms of GDP, we are the largest economy in Africa, however, in human capital we are not the best.

“Population may be a problem, though you need population, you need education, you need health, you need access to good water and access to finance. All of those things we don’t have enough. Other smaller countries in Africa are doing better than us.” President in order -MAN Nonetheless, MAN has kept side with the President’s position, but noted that lack of harnessing potential is among the biggest challenges confronting the nation and its economy. Acting Director-General of MAN, Ambrose Oruche, told Saturday Telegraph that the President was correct, judging by the abundant human resources and rich mineral deposits in the land.

He said: “The potential our president is looking at, is not an immediate solution. We also look at our population of over 200 million and the resources. Every region of this country has resources that can sustain that region very well. It is just that we are not harnessing what we have.

“Potentially, what he said is the correct thing; we are the most prosperous black nation in the world as we have the potential. By statistics, I doubt it, but I don’t know what statistics he based that on, to determine that Nigeria was Africa’s largest economy. “If you compare Nigeria and South Africa’s economies, in terms of GDP performance, it may not be. So I don’t know whether it is in terms of GDP or in terms of population growth,” he said.

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