The Federal Executive Council (FEC) said former vice president Atiku Abubakar, who emerged the consensus candidate of the ‘north’ a few days ago, has too little knowledge of the economy to draw any valid conclusions.
Reacting to claims by the presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party that the nation’s foreign reserve had depleted drastically, the minister of finance, Olusegun Aganga, said Mr Abubakar was ignorant of the workings of the economy and therefore should not be taken seriously. He said it is always dangerous to talk on such a topic without having adequate information because this amounts to shooting from the dark.
Posted by Passer-By on Nov 25 2010
Even if Atiku really has a ‘rich’ knowledge of the economy, he would be a ‘poor’ politician to say anything good about his opponent’s handling of the economy. There is truly no honest person in politics and governmet; thats why those that benefit always sees nothing bad about the government, while those that are left out of the looting party can never see anything good about the government. Show me any so called ‘godly’ man or woman in politics or government and I’ll show you a debauched hypocrite.
Posted by Bizibody on Nov 25 2010
Is Aganga speaking on behalf of the Jonathann campaign? These so-called experts should be careful with the fire of politics…Nigerian politics can burn very deeply. Meanwhile, how well is the economy doing under Aganga/GEJ?
Posted by Okwuchukwu Ezeanyika, PA, USA on Nov 25 2010
Atiku is right and Aganga and Jonathan are wrong. According to Aganga, the three tiers of government jointly invested US$5.5 billion on the different NIPPs as well as another US$1 billion as seed money for the take-off of the National Sovereign Wealth Fund, all from the excess crude account. I want to ask Mr. Aganga how this explanation makes sense in the depletion of the ECA account from US$22 billion in 2007 to a mere US$470 million by July 2010. Further, contrary to Aganga’s viewpoint, there was no fall in the benchmark prices in 2008. He should show us the figures in oil prices vis-a vis the budgetary benchmark. The fact is that the entire ECA fund was utilized to support bloated bureaucracies both at the federal and state levels. Mr. Aganga’s economics is simply Dugbe-market logic. It is already on record that the most profligate government ever in the history of Nigeria is the Yar’Adua/Jonathan government of 2007 to date.
Posted by Och’Abakpa on Nov 25 2010
What is ignorance about an alarm raised over the downward slide of the econmy that has continued unabated? How could these guys say we are ignorant when the facts of the matter and the soft issues leading to such development has been a contant worry for various analysts of our national economy? Nigerians have sympathy for GEJ …yes, but that is not enough for us to overlook serious issues. GEJ should therefore be prepared to convince Nigerians on his plans for the growth of the economy and not engage in the fool’s fight of sentimental reactions to seriuos facts. Enough of this mediocrity for God’s sake.
Posted by WarMonger on Nov 25 2010
Basic Principle: Anybody that IBB supports cannot be taken seriously. I have actually met Atiku before, we gave a presentation to a group he was ‘leading’ he did not come across as intelligent or insightful. Other were able to say something. The only question he asked was as dumbs as …. Made my group quite depressed about how did such people get into power? Of course we got the job anyway but it was depressing nonetheless!
Posted by saintchux on Nov 25 2010
Why was ECA created? it is a saving to be used during shortfall. Those opposing the withdrawal from ECA should tell us where the money should be gotten from. If they pay you salary and you save 10%, then when you fall sick or have an issue that requires money do you withdraw from your savings or you die in other not to deplete your savings. PLEASE LET US STOP PLAYING POLITICS WITH OUR ECONOMY.
Posted by Amifofunu on Nov 25 2010
Atiku is being patriotic. Aganga is the one playing politics with the economy. No Excess crude again, Reserves are depleted and pace of growth is appalling, Govt now wants to borrow billions of Dollars. How is this Atiku’s worry alone? It’s only an idiot that thinks Nigerians will be fooled any further. We shall kick out GEJ bcos many smart people like Aganga have taken advantage of his mediocrity and ignorance of macroecomic isssues. GEJ’s signature is commonly obtained on serious documents that require good thinking only for subsequent after-thought redress (always). What an embarrassment to NIGERIA!
Posted by Teacher on Nov 25 2010
@WarMonger, I also met GEJ several times under circumstances similar to yours, when he was still Governor. My group left the venue wondering aloud what manner of Doctorate he has. He and his then cabinet seemed totally lost even on the relatively basic principles. We also eventually got the job though. So you see, heads we lose, tails we lose. Na wa!
Posted by franklin on Nov 25 2010
If presidential aspirants do not “play politics with the economy”, what in the world will they “play politics” with? ITS ABOUT THE ECONOMY STUPID!!! People are literally dying of hunger and everywhere you turn, all you hear from the average Nigerian is “there is no money in the country” But the minister is telling us they spent $5.5 billion plus on independent power projects that have produced only darkness. Jonathan and his team are clueless and indolent.
Posted by SILAS GOMWALK on Nov 25 2010
When you are just borrowing, developed nations are cutting spending due to the recession and you are just there telling us its fine. How will it not be fine you are just spending our money and putting us back to where we were? Even the bad OBJ made sure he left us with hopes but ebele you are there selling us. Collecting debts the last I read was 3.7 billion dollars
Posted by AK47 on Nov 25 2010
I don’t think anyone’s grouse is with the withdrawal from the ECA per-se. The question is what was done with the money? To continue with @saintchux’s analogy, if you save 10% ofyour salary and decide one day to empty it on aso-ebi for a wedding or birthday while your children’s school fees have not been paid, that is irresposibility, even though it is your prerogative.
Posted by miss on Nov 25 2010
I am really impressed d first comments were simply my mind… Nigerians r supporting GEJ outa sympathy and are just not looking deepinto d economy. We need a set of pple dat will tell us the truth and not borrowers (either for domestic as Aganga claimed or for foreign) dat wld sooner or later lead the nation into a mess and ridicule by outsiders. Sometimes ago; there ws a ‘cry out’ by Ndidi Okereke abt our foreign and local debt. Wat is GEJ doing abt it rather dan adding insults upon d nations injury????
Posted by azuka on Nov 25 2010
Ima Niboro yesterday claimed that the “fundamentals of the economy is strong”. And today Aganga is telling us that the economy is recording private sector driven growth. Which private sector? Which growth? Obviously these guys are in a different Nigeria from the rest of us. They should come to the middle of oshodi and say it, and see if they survive 10 minutes alive. Oloshi, ndi ara, thieves and robbers.
Posted by Bamson Tamuno on Nov 25 2010
@ WarMonger Does Jonathan look or sound intelligent? You do not need to be an academician or a Wole Soyinka to lead a nation. Basic wisdom is enough! The professions in your cabinet will normally do all the work! Jonathan was Governor of Bayelsa State for some time…he should tell us what he achieved during his tenure. We know the facts!
Posted by Uncle Shaft on Nov 25 2010
I strongly believe that Atiku is ingnorance of the workings of nigerias economy, however the present government has not done anything fantastic to improve nigeria economy since 2007, its been talk talk with nothing to show foer it. I am still waiting to a govt that will make positive impact on nigerias economy like obj did. Despite all the downside of obj his govt made positive impact on the lives of ordinary nigerians.
Posted by Paul A. on Nov 25 2010
None of the politicians proposing to be our president in 2011 has shown us a clear blueprint on how they will tackle our monstrous economic problem. Atiku has not shown us what he will offer I think he has nothing to offer, Jonathan who has occupied the seat since April has not done anything concrete that as added to move our economy from the doldrums. Buhari though on a different plateform has never really impressed me with what he will do for our country. Who among these would deliver? I see none. The same old bricks with nothing to offer. God help Nigeria, we have thousands of brilliant Nigerians there but corruption and political Godfatherism will never allow them emerge to transform this country. Time we Nigerians take our destinies into our own hands.
Posted by ads on Nov 25 2010
Does this Aganga really think Nigeria is populated with fools? National Independendent Power Project ko, NIPP ni! Anyway, we cant exactly expect him to say, “we had to share $5.5billion with state governors so they will support my boss in his 2011 election project”, can we? Honestly, where did they find this guy from?
Posted by Osang on Nov 25 2010
I think Atiku should be allowed to speak of this difficult topic “ECONOMY” at least it will tell his opponents his weak point. But i trust Mallam Shehu will caution him to speak less on issues he has little knowledge of. Long live Nigeria!!!
Posted by ibo trader on Nov 25 2010
if Atiku has poor knowledge of the economy as the minister claims, the question is ‘what has the rich knowledge of the economy of the honorable minister done for us Nigerians’? Take away all the theoretical economic jargon and grammer, and come down to our level, and you will see that we have never had it this bad.
Posted by azuka on Nov 25 2010
Jonathan after having depleted our forex accounts, now wants the borrow another $3 billion plus on unspecified projects on behalf of himself and the governors. I wonder if this loan request rightly turned down by the senate, has to do with 2011 elections. Desperate GEJ seeks to bribe governors with foreign loans so they will support his election next year. Nigeria is in trouble.
Posted by alhaji pastor on Nov 25 2010
because we would always reduce national issues to sentiments, every objective criticism is seen as hatred for GEJ,we will see where ds gets too,is GEJ is so good as made to blv,Nigerians shld be gegging him to remain and not him portraying himself as d messiah,as for intelligence, who is better between the two of them, atiku and GEJ, look at their wives and make ur conclusion,
Posted by Shehu on Nov 25 2010
@ teacher and warmonger… I met both Atiku and Gej when each held the position of vice president. On both occasions the meeting was business based and I can categorically say neither should be mistaken for an intellectual. I would hate to talk about the details of both meetings (that may reveal my identity) but I assure all well meaning Nigerians that behind the flowery rhetoric both men are avaricious and fundamentally dishonest. Please make your votes count.
Posted by Jay on Nov 25 2010
@Franklin: thank you so much. I was beginning to wonder if this Agangu is as bright as he was painted. Can anybody tell me a major reason y the Democrats lost the mid term elections? Anybody?? ECONOMY. Perhaps GEJ/Agangu should be more comfortable playing tribal politics instead of issue based politics. NOT THAT ATIKU HAS A CLUE HOW TO GET US THERE ANYWAY!
Posted by Noise for Vendor Mouth on Nov 25 2010
I love Teacher’s piece! I have never met either in person and I don’t give a toss about either. Although Atiku is way more politically savvy than GEJ, Jonathan from records, is certainly by far more educated and intelligent than Atiku, plus Atiku is the most avaricious animal (whether higher or lower) ever created; this I got from experience between 1999 & 2003 from Atiku’s dealings.
Posted by JOJO on Nov 25 2010
@WarMonger, may God continue to uphold you & continue to defeat Nigeria`s enemies.
Posted by Gen Rommel on Nov 25 2010
I’m yet to see any of these Men including the so called Technocrats showing any knowledge of Economic 101 ( Economics of Production). The moment they become saddled with the responsibility of Managing Government funds, certain Demon & inherited curses of Grafting, Rent seeking , Looting, cronysm etc suddenly overwhelms their faculty of thinking. The only way these fools can be cured is through deliverance of many years in Gulags. I believe in long term jail as deterrent to White Collar Crimes cos most of these Academic Criminals have no stomach for jail.
Posted by save nija on Nov 25 2010
ads & teacher i dont know what side of the tongues you guys are talking from. if nigerians are not gulible, what on earth will make IBB & Atiku want to contest election in nigeria that some “so called” nigerians will think of associating with them. atiku always cry foul when ever he is kicked out but when he is still in all is well. he did it with MKO, OBJ and lately we saw what he did with AC. you guys should please search the internet for some of his prevoius comments and see the inconsistencies in them. Babangida, never again will we allow a dictator who has no reason/explanation for anything he does. no reason for dela giwa, no reason for gulf oil money, no reason for june 12 no reason for…. please you guys should have a rethink. if all the countries we starter with are now far ahead of us then it means we have not made any progress in the past hence we need to change the way we do things and by extension the people. CHINA, S-Korea, BRAZIL, MALASIA and recently GHANA have all gone ahead
Posted by Jude on Nov 25 2010
How was the economy during Obasanjo/Atiku era?
Posted by Aare Onakakanfo on Nov 25 2010
@Jay & @Franklin: Aganga didn’t say the economy is booming, read the story very well, he indeed agreed that there are challenges, he’s rather correcting Atiku’s blatant doom’s day prediction of the economy at present. Believe me or not if Atiku is our current president, there won’t be anything left in our External Reserve not to talk of ECA. If he’s so corrupt free, let him travel to US and clear himself first.
Posted by Just Wondering on Nov 25 2010
I know Patience has comma, which of Atiku’s wife do we compare her to? Atiku has more wives and concubines than wise king Solomon
Posted by emeka on Nov 25 2010
@ bloggers who keeping raising ethnic sectarian sentiments like GEJ camp or North camp. The most important objectives of leadership in politics is the economic security of the state and its peoples. Even territorial security comes second because it takes a healthy economy to buid reliable defenses. The world is still an increasingly competitve and dangerous place and only people grounded in key variables like how to run an economy should run for public office. I challenge Atiku to come out and prove Aganga wrong by showing a mastery of key indices of the national and global economy. Let him discuss those issues before a forum of the underutilized young Nigerian professionals who are a fed up with mediocrity in public office. This should apply all the so-called politicains and elders.
Posted by G.BOLA on Nov 25 2010
All i know is that God will definitly deliver us from your hands one day.
Posted by femstar on Nov 25 2010
•Just because you are rooting for President Jonathan to become does not mean you should attack a legitimate issues. The issues raised by Atiku are legit but sometimes in Nigeria we are blindfolded by ethnics mantras and that’s why we are having leadership crisis. Aganga is playing politics with the truth. #200bn plus #387bn to Power Holding yet Nigerians cannot enjoy one day of uninterrupted power supply. One thing is to dish out money another thing is for the money to achieve what its meant for.
Posted by duru on Nov 25 2010
•Some of what Atiku said is right, since Jonathan took power our foreign reserve have fallen and the excess account depleted, the minister of finance should own up and accept this as a fact, secondily ,i remember reading in the newspaper sometime last month when the minister was invited to the senate to explain why the slow implementation of the budget. Mr minister you are telling us the good part , let know also know the poor side. it is politics now , though Atiku did not say how he will change
Posted by gbenga on Nov 25 2010
•Atiku raised an important issues that Jonathan’s administration must answer. Why did excess crude oil decline by more than 80% over the last four years? What was the money spent on? Was it spent on capital project? If yes, which ones? The era of unaccountability is over. The coming election should be issues driven election not ethnic one. Economics, Private Sector led jobs, and human security should top the agenda.
Posted by OyIdoma on Nov 25 2010
If Atiku does not play politics with the economy, what else should he play politics with? This is not anything serious from this so-called expert, rather another badluck for Jonathan.
Posted by dan on Nov 25 2010
•Nigerians. calling people names will not solve our national problems. Lets ask our self one simple question,the govt have released 100% of recurrent expeniture and about 40% of the capital will be release or implemented within 30 days of the the end of the fiscal year. consider the economic implications of this. Forget sentiment, lets start reasoning and stop this politics of sycophancy and chop and chop.When will put our leaders on their toes definitely the will be serious.
Posted by allofus on Nov 25 2010
You don’t oppose everything without proposing anything. What alternate plans does Atiku have for the economy. Monies were looted massively in his tenure as vice president under obj in bpe, etc and investments sold to himself using cronies. Athiefku is only playing politics. he should face issues of what he intends to do and not merely attack his opponent. Come 2011 Nigerians will decide.
Posted by Negro Tee on Nov 25 2010
I beg let Atiku speak and prove to Nigerians that he know nothing, has nothing and can only offer nothing to them. Seeing his Goliath’s like stature, Nigerians must know that he is only full of muscle but extreemly small in sense. He is just too lousy a man which was the bane of the problem he had with OBJ then. He is on the way to destruction and self-sucide again. We watch as event unfolds……………..
Posted by Ilu Kademi on Nov 25 2010
This is very powerful message to the voters. If they can promise to rotate the government between the North and the South, and now that promise is inconsequential, their message speaks volume to what may come when elected again. Leadership is far beyond personal greed and our political leaders need to understand that Nigeria as a nation deserves far better than their immediate greed and gratification.
Posted by Ajegunle on Nov 25 2010
Since when has at been a prerequisite to have good knowledge of economy before you can run a country? This is not holding brief for Atiku, but Aganga is wrong. The fact that he works with an investment firm before his appointment does not make him a guru. GEJ with his PhD does not come out as somebody with mnagement knowledge as well. Most of the time, he is incoherent. If Aganga yardstick are to be used, Pat Utomi, Soludo, Akingbola, Cecilia Ibru etc will qualify. But that is not the yardstick. Can somebody tell Aganga to shut up, if he has nothing to say. Except he is praising his master.
Posted by Ejykoko on Nov 25 2010
Since Atiku is now an economist, he should tell us how he intends to improve our economy & stop