Nigeria’s Economy Worse Under Jonathan – Report
In a swift reaction, however, the presidency said that the performance of the economy cannot be measured by survey.
The report is the outcome of a survey conducted by the CLEEN Foundation, a Nigerian non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with the Afrobarometer Network, a pan- African network of survey researchers and analysts, and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Ghana.
Presenting the report to newsmen yesterday, the vice-chairman of the CLEEN Foundation, Prof. Etannibi Alemika, disclosed that the current survey is the fifth in a series of surveys conducted from 1999 when the country regained her democracy.
The recent Afrobarometer survey in Nigeria says that a majority of the citizens (67 per cent) describe the present economic condition of the country as very bad and fairly bad. Only 8 per cent say the economy is neither good nor bad and 25 per cent say the economy is very good and fairly good.
“About 42 per cent of the citizens said their present personal living condition is very bad or fairly bad, 14 per cent say their present personal living condition is neither good nor bad and another 42 per cent also agree that their personal living condition is neither good nor bad.
“The survey also revealed that a majority of Nigerians rated the present government as having performed poorly in the general management of the economy as well as the management of specific economic indicators. 81 per cent of Nigerians assessed government’s performance in managing the economy as very bad and fairly bad; only 19 per cent assessed the government’s performance as very well and fairly well.
“85 per cent of Nigerians think the present government has performed very badly in improving the living standard of the poor while only 15 per cent think the government is doing very well in improving the living condition of the poor.”
The survey further revealed that the majority (85 per cent) think the present government has performed “very badly or fairly badly” in improving the living standards of the poor, while only 15 per cent think the government is doing “very well or fairly well” in improving the living standards of the poor.
According to Alemika, the Round 5 of the survey covered 35 African countries, measuring public perception and attitude to democracy and its alternative and evaluates the quality of governance and economic performance. He said the field work for the round was conducted from October 29 to November 30, 2012, during which 2,400 adult Nigerians were interviewed with a result margin of 95 per cent confidence level.
The survey which also focused on the citizens’ perception of the police revealed that a majority of Nigerians believe that it is very difficult to obtain help from the police. “Majority of the citizens think government has performed very badly in reducing crime and resolving violent conflict between communities.
When contacted over the matter, the senior special assistant on public affairs to the president, Dr Doyin Okupe, told LEADERSHIP last night that economic development of any country is not measured through survey.
Okupe said he would be constrained to react to a survey report by Afrobarometer (CLEEN Foundation) without verifiable and scientific survey. He added that he will only rely on credible organisations like the International Monetary Fund and Fitch Ratings.
He said: “Economy of any country is not measured through any survey. A country’s economy is measured by the gross domestic product (GDP), inflation rate, foreign exchange stability, unemployment, foreign reserves, among other indicators.”
However, the executive director of CLEEN Foundation, Kemi Okenyodo, said the purpose of Afrobarometer is to measure popular perspectives on the social, political, and economic environments in each country where it is implemented and across Africa.
She said the goal is to give the public a voice in policymaking processes by providing high-quality public opinion data to policymakers, policy advocates and civil society organisations, academics, media, donors, investors and ordinary Africans.
On the methodology used for the survey, Okenyodo said “in the 2011-2013 survey, 2,400 respondents were interviewed by enumerators in their homes using personal face-to-face interviews and multi-stage sampling technique. To ensure adequate representation of adult Nigerian population, probability sampling procedure was used to neutralise any known form of bias that may affect the findings of the study”.
Meanwhile, against criticisms that the Nigerian economy was headed for doom following the discovery of shale oil by the United States of America – the largest producer and consumer of the world’s oil, the presidency said the discovery is unlikely to have any effect on the nation’s crude oil production.
This is just as it explained that the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration never renewed the contract awarded for the protection of oil pipelines since its expiration, adding that, against misrepresentations, the contract was awarded by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Dr Okupe said the transparency, forthrightness as well as the various fiscal policies, reforms and programmes adopted by the Jonathan administration do not give room for fears that the economy might in any way be endangered.
Okupe said the nation’s daily oil production has been on the increase since Jonathan took over, just as Europe and not America have become the largest buyers of Nigeria’s crude oil.
“The truth is that, contrary to this thinking, Nigeria’s total national crude oil production is 2.06 million barrels per day. Europe has become a major destination for Nigerian crude oil cargoes, with the volume of Nigerian crude oil grades going to Europe increasing from 28 per cent in 2011 to about 38 per cent in 2012. A major factor for the growing demand of Nigerian crude in Europe has been the Free Trade Agreement between Europe and South Korea. It is more profitable under this agreement to sell North Sea crude oil grades to Korea. Many companies prefer to trade their cargoes in Korea thus creating shortfall in Europe. In addition, the North Sea as a whole is recording annual natural decline from matured field of about 10 per cent. In the same light, Asia’s demand for light sweet grade is rising, stepping up demand for Nigerian grades. India in particular is consistently taking an average of 120,000 barrels per day from Nigeria.
“Already, the federal government is adopting appropriate strategies to effectively mitigate the impact of decline in the US markets. The number and volume of term contracts with Asian refiners is gradually being increased. Current term volumes to Asian refiners stand at 120,000 barrels per day. In both the short and medium term, a combination of market openings in Europe and Asia will effectively compensate the loss of US market and offer needed support for Nigerian crude oil exports,” Okupe said.
He added that key reforms had been implemented by the government, which has thus resulted in the reduction of dependence on oil, as the agricultural sector alone contributed over 40 per cent to the gross domestic product in two years with oil exports now 69 per cent of the total exports as against 91 per cent in 2008.
“On the issue of high cost of governance, it is noteworthy that under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s recurrent expenditure dropped from 74 per cent in 2011 to 68 per cent in 2013 and will further go down in the next fiscal year.
“Just three weeks ago, government began the implementation of reforms suggested by the Orosanye committee to further reduce recurrent expenditure by about N1 trillion in the next three years through the rationalisation of agencies and departments of government with similar functions. Domestic government borrowing declined from 852 billion in 2011 to 588 billion in 2013.Our national debt is 21 per cent of our GDP compared to South Africa (42.7 per cent), sub-Saharan Africa (34.2 per cent), USA (106 per cent), Japan (225 per cent), United Kingdom (90 per cent). Our foreign reserve has climbed up to almost 50 billion dollars while the exchange rate has been steady,” Okupe said.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org