Economy: See What Jonathan Tries To Hide
All Nigerian official statistics and figures show that the economy of Nigeria has unprecedented growth during Jonathan's presidential term, but real figures speak better than Goodluck Jonathan...
1. GDP Rate
Nigeria has the biggest economy on continent with a gross domestic product of over $500 billion with 6-7 per cent growth rate. But a real economic growth rate is a measure of how much the economy grew, in real terms. Premium Times stresses that while it measures the total goods and services produced in a given year, it does not say anything about how the quality of life has changed, and whether or not available resources were used transparently and beneficially. That is why a lot of economists and experts find the growth rate of an economy a discussion question.
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Nigerian economic perfomance depends on the quantity and quality of a country’s labour force, natural resource endowment as well as fiscal, financial and monetary policies. All these factors affect the investment and supports higher level of growth and qualitative improvements in Nigeria.
The first five years of Jonathan's presidency (2009-2013) the real GDP growth estimated 6-7 per cent and GEJ is very proud of it. However the growth is much lower than 11.1 percent of the first five years of civilian rule (2000 – 2005). Such growth was reached despite the fact that oil prices were much lower at that time than now, and foreign investors’ appetite for Nigeria was not as strong as now. That is why Jonathan’s achievement can hardly be said to be unprecedented. It’s actually poorer than his predecessor’s achievements.
2. Governmental Debt
The statistics shows that the public debt is much higher than at any time since 2006. In 2007, total public debt fell to N2.678 trillion ($3.56billion external debt from $36b, and N2.2trillion domestic debt). But as of end 2013, public debt has increased by more than 300 percent to N8.423trillion ($8.2b external, and N7.1 trillion domestic).
READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Debt Rises To N8.32tn
According to the Premium Times by the end of 2014, Nigeria’s total debt should easily approach over $100b, most of which were accumulated in the past 6 years. Given the well-established negative correlation of debt and economic growth, how has growth been so strong?
3. The Quality Of Life
Here are some statistical examples, which show a lot of important but unsolved problems in Nigeria:
1) Life expectancy in Nigeria is just 54 years, eight years lower than in Ghana and 20 years lower than in Brazil.
2) The rate of childhood malnutrition is 24 percent, more than eight times the rate in Mexico.
3) Basic literacy among 15- to 24-year-olds is just 66 per cent, compared with 99 per cent in South Africa.
4) Official estimates of poverty rate vary from 41 per cent to 56 per cent, depending on whether the poverty line is drawn at 2,500 calories per day or at US$1.25 per day.
5) Infrastructure continues to be a major challenge: electric power, transportation infrastructure, telecommunications infrastructure and Internet and broadband access is limited. Water and wastewater systems are nonexistent outside a few cities.
6) Reputation for widespread corruption remains high, ranking at 139 out of the 176 countries on Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perception Index.
READ ALSO: Jonathan Says Country Transformation Is Not Made Overnight
Because of all these improvements, it’s time for Goodluck Jonathan to focus on better economic outcomes if he wants to have chances to be reelected.