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  • Business - Economy
  • Updated: Oct 16, 2020

US Economist, Steve Hanke, Counters President Buhari's Inflation Rate Claim

US Economist, Steve Hanke, Counters President Buhari's Infla

United States economist, Steve Hanke, has countered President Muhammadu Buhari's inflation rate projection for next year. Hanke said Nigeria's inflation rate will actually be triple of what President Buhari disclosed while submitting and addressing the 2021 budget at the National Assembly last week.

President Buhari had presented NGN13 trillion as his administration's budget for next year. During his presentation, he said his administration is concerned about revenue generation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which he revealed will push Nigeria into a recession in 2020.

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While President Buhari said Nigeria's economy will exit recession in 2021, he stated that the inflation rate will rise to 11.29 percent according to his administration's forecast. However, Hanke, who was a Senior Economist with President Ronald Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers from 1981 to 1982, said the inflation rate given by Buhari was far lower than what is projected for Nigeria next week.

In a statement posted on his official Twitter handle, Hanke said Nigeria's inflation rate will hit 29.45%. He said President Buhari's projection is only possible magically, and not in reality, "@MBuhari announced in his 2021 budget proposal that he expects #Inflation to be 11.95%/yr next year. He must have pulled that number out of a hat.

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"Today, I accurately measure #Nigeria’s inflation at 29.45%/yr. That’s almost triple the President’s finger in the wind forecast." Hanke tweeted. In a separate tweet, reacting to the ENDSARS protest, Hanke tweeted, "#EndSARS protests roll on in #Nigeria. To add insult to injury, I accurately measure #Nigeria's annual #inflation rate at 30.09%/yr, more than 2x the rate reported by @MBuhari."

Note that Hanke is a Founder & Co‐​Director of the Institute for Applied Economics, and a Professor of Applied Economics and Global Health. He works with Johns Hopkins Department of Economics and the Johns Hopkins Department of Environmental Health and Engineering.

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