Abubakar Yunus, Abuja
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bala Ibrahim, has blamed the “16-year misrule” of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for being responsible for the poverty of over 133 million Nigerians.
Ibrahim, who is also the Director of Information of the ruling party, said on the contrary the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has produced many millionaire rice farmers since May 2015.
The APC member stated this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily,and monitored by The Explainer, on Monday.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) mid-November revealed that 63% of Nigerians (133 million people) are multidimensionally poor. It said while 65% of the poor (86 million people) live in the north, 35% (nearly 47 million) live in the south.
However, Ibrahim said, “I am happy the NBS did not say it is the APC that impoverished Nigerians.”
“This poverty that has taken control of Nigeria is as a result of the misrule of the PDP for 16 years. The APC since it came into power has been doing everything to uplift the standard of living, to take people to the place of their ambitions and it promised to provide succour and it is doing so.
“It is not something that can happen overnight but if you take the statistics of the number of people that have been taken to the next level, the number of people that have been pulled out of poverty, the number of people that are happy, particular the number of people that have been turned into millionaires through rice farmers, you will see that no government in the history of Nigeria has done so well in fighting poverty like this administration,” he added.
The APC chieftain, however, declined to give the exact number of the “millionaire rice farmers” the Buhari government has produced in over seven years since it took over from the PDP which ruled Nigeria from May 1999 to May 2015.
The Buhari administration through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) had unveiled many rice pyramid since 2015 as part of its food revolution but many Nigerians have lamented the astronomic rise of over 100% in the cost of a bag of the staple food.
Similarly, Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 21.09% under the APC in October 2022 from 9.0% in May 2015 when Buhari assumed office, according to NBS data.
Meanwhile, a PDP member, Matthias Tsado, who also featured on the programme, disagreed with Ibrahim, saying the APC government has created over 50 million more poor people since 2015.
“This government has successfully created 50 million poor people going by that data.
“The President mentioned that he was going to lift 100 million poor people out of poverty, today, they have created more poor people in the country. This is on the streets of Nigeria, everybody knows that life is not the same, life is not the same way it used to be,” he said.
Asked how many Nigerians the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku plans to pull out of poverty, Tsado declined to mention a figure but said, “We are going to create an opportunity for every single citizen of this country to earn a good living.”