Group dismisses Obasanjo’s Zimbabwe economic model for Nigeria

The Tinubu Media Support Group (TMSG)has dismissed former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s suggestion that Nigeria should adopt the Zimbabwe economic model to address its current challenges.
Mr Jesutega Onokpasa, TMSG Chairman in a statement on. Monday in Abuja, said the model was worse than the Argentina prescription mooted by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
He said though Obasanjo may be interested in pontificating a way forward for Nigeria in his own suggestion, his recommendation was not well thought out and not worth considering.
“We admit that unlike his former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who recommended Argentina’s Shock Therapy, which we described as a poison chalice.
 “The former president seems to be sincerely interested in pontificating a way forward for the nation in his own suggestion.
“Unfortunately, his counsel and prescription are not measurable on the proverbial scale of foresight and wisdom.
“This is because Zimbabwe’s economy has been one of the non performing economies in Africa, particularly under the leadership of late President Robert Mugabe,” Onokpasa said.
This, he said, was on account of political instability and poor monetary policy application and management as well as under his former deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa who was now president.
He added that common sense and decency demanded that Nigeria should always look towards countries with record of successful economic reforms for solutions if we had to copy any model.
Onokpasa said a close look at the post- Mugabe economic reforms in Zimbabwe showed that the most fundamental adjustment in that country’s macro-economy, was the outright adoption of the US Dollar as against its former currency.
“Although the adoption of US Dollar as the official currency increased Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 5.3 per cent in 2023.
“And made it one of the fastest growing economies in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the World Bank has however projected a slow down of the country’s GDP to 3.5  per cent in 2024.
“Today aside from US dollars, Zimbabwe has authorised the use of seven other foreign currencies in domestic transactions until 2030.
“This include: South African Rand, British Pound Sterling, Botswana Pula, Australian Dollar, Chinese Yuan, Indian Rupee, Japanese Yen,” Onokpasa said.
He added that worst still, the current inflation rate in Zimbabwe was at 47.6 per cent while that of Nigeria was 29.9 per cent.
This, he noted was slightly higher than the Obasanjo era rate of 28.2 per cent (August 2005) and the unemployment rate was 7.80 per cent higher than the Nigerian rate of third Quarter of 2023.
He said economic reforms in Zimbabwe had not yielded any tangible or enviable result that could warrant Nigeria, under the focused and promising leadership of President Bola Tinubu to look towards it as an economic role model.
Onokpasa said for this reason, Obasanjo’s advice for Nigeria to adopt the Zimbabwe model of economic reforms was not acceptable.
He, however, congratulated the former president on his 87th birthday, and wished him more active years of fruitful contributions to nation building.(

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