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Nigeria’s New GDP, A Mere Smokescreen -Group

Kayode Adelowokan, Lagos

The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has described the rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the country, which showed that the Nigerian economy has overtaken South Africa’s as the biggest on the continent as a facade.

The Federal Government while presenting the outcome of the preliminary estimates of the GDP, said that the country’s real GDP for 2011 and 2012 now stood at 5.09 per cent and 6.66 per cent, while the economy grew by 7.41 per cent in real terms last year.

Reacting to the result, the Executive Chairman, CACOL, Comrade Debo Adeniran, noted that the new GDP is nothing to be happy about because it is not in terms of per capita income.

Adeniran queried, “What is the essence of Nigeria becoming the Africa’s biggest economy when it doesn’t translate to improved standard of living for the common man? What is the essence of the new GDP figure when it doesn’t translate to reduction of employment in the country?

“There is virtually nothing to be happy about.”

The human right activist recalled that Nigeria has earlier been rated as one of the poorest countries in the world by the World Bank, and as a matter of fact, it was rated with countries that are either overpopulated or ravaged by war like Bangladesh, China, India, Democratic Republic of Congo whereas our dear country does not suffer such fate.

He said, “The new GDP and the World Bank rating are parallel things. If Nigeria is the Africa’s biggest economy, what are the indices that the judgment was based on?  An average Nigerian citizen does not have access to the basic things of life like potable water, decent accommodation, good health care delivery among other things; life expectancy is below 50years; infant mortality rate is 78 per 1000 live births; under-five mortality rate is 124 per 1000 live births and Nigeria is the 7th highest infant mortality rate in the world. Nigeria boasts of the richest man in Africa and it also parades the poorest people in the world. One out of 7 poorest people in the world is a Nigerian.

“Basically, the new GDP does not translate to good living condition for the mass of Nigerians when about 80% are living below poverty line i.e.  less than N300. As a matter of fact, out of that, more than 60% are actually living below $1 a day which means the country harbours the poorest of the poor.

“It is the mal-governance that allows the lopsided and the inordinate correlation between the economy growth and the per capita income. The economy of the country has been put in the stronghold of less than 1% of the population.”

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