Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, who ran as the Labour Party’s Vice Presidential candidate, has raised doubts about Nigeria’s Fitch rating, claiming that the Fitch statistics are unreliable.
Datti shared this information in a Tuesday interview with Arise Television. A Fitch report recently stated that the reform progress has been faster than initially expected since President Bola Tinubu’s government started in May 2023.
Fitch Ratings predicts a moderation in Nigeria’s inflation rate, with expectations of it dropping to 21.1 percent in 2024, down from the 2023 average of 24.8 percent.
In its most recent report, the global rating firm made this disclosure, reaffirming Nigeria’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default outlook as ‘B’ with a stable outlook.
The firm predicts that Nigeria’s inflation, a key economic gauge, will decrease by 5.62 percentage points from the September rate of 26.72 percent.
‘Fitch projects inflation moderates to 21.1 per cent in 2024 from an average 24.8 per cent in 2023, helped by lower deficit monetisation, but well above the ‘B’ medians of 6.0 per cent and 4.9 per respectively,’ the report said.
Likewise, Fitch has forecasted a 1.1 percent increase in government revenue as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 2023 to 2025, reaching 8.5 percent of GDP.
Additionally, it pointed out that Nigeria’s budget deficit in relation to GDP will decrease to 5.0 percent in 2024 and 4.6 percent in 2025.
But, reacting to the Fitch ratings, Datti stated, ‘If you want to know what is happening in Nigeria, come to us in Nigeria and don’t read those statistics because they are misleading.’
‘They always speak about growth. It’s not growth actually that matters, those figures that give you, because there is nothing as misleading as far as welfare is concerned as growth.’
‘The stethoscope you use in measuring the heartbeat of an elephant, for example, China, cannot be the same one you use to measure the heartbeat of a rat.’
Meanwhil, the former vice presidential candidate said the state of democracy in Nigeria is poor, and the people have to wake up. ‘For a people that are ready to accept anything, then anything will happen to them,’ he said.
Datti said, ‘Anytime the Nigerian people decide that they want to defend their constitution and take back power in their country, anything can happen, and any fraudulent government will be fair game for them.’
‘For Peter Obi and me, it is over. For we, the people, the Nigerian people, at any point in time, they can take back Nigeria.’
Datti, in response to the Supreme Court’s verdict, voiced the Labour Party’s complete rejection of and non-alignment with the judgment. He pointed out that the judgment is ultimately sustained because “we are unable to influence it,” and went on to say…
He said, ‘They have the power, nobody can do anything about it. That is why we said it is an unreasonable show of force. If there was something we could do, we would stop it, but we are law abiding citizens, that is why I’m here sitting with you today and still complaining.’