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Argentina’s economy is worse than that of Nigeria — Tinubu’s Aide counters Atiku  

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Otega Ogra

The Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Digital and New Media, O’tega Ogra, has responded the Atiku Abubakar on comparing the economy of Argentina to that of Nigeria. 

Ogra noted that Nigeria has a better economy than Argentina, adding that the South American country’s inflation has risen to 254% in January 2024 since the emergence of its new president, Javier Milei.  

Atiku had earlier compared Nigeria’s economic outlook to that of Argentina, advising President Tinubu to take a cue from Milei in the implementation of economic reforms.  

Meanwhile, Ogra countered this point, showing different data indicating a decline in Argentina’s economy since the emergence of Milei.  

Ogra said,  

  • “Respectfully, VP Atiku (1999 – 2007) sir, I come again. 
  • “To those who may be enchanted, just like our former VP, by the ‘Argentina Miracle’ he quoted, see below the January data of the situation Alh. Atiku praised and said he would have put on Nigerians – had he been 7th time lucky at his shot at the presidency which wasn’t successful. 
  • “I would like to start by first saying – respectfully, that Nigeria is not Argentina, and President Tinubu is not the President of Argentina. 
  • “I therefore advise a closer look at the data—lest we forget that even a broken clock is right twice a day.” 

Data on the Argentine Economy 

Highlighting relevant data to demonstrate his point, Ogra listed the following:  

  • Argentine Inflation Rates: Jumped to 254% in January 2024 – the highest level since 1990.  
  • Industrial and construction output in Argentina dropped by 12.8% and 12.2% year-on-year in December, respectively. 
  • Economic activity in Argentina fell 2.5% year on year according to a Reuters survey. 
  • Car registrations in Argentina declined by 33% year-on-year in January. 
  • Retail sales in Argentina fell by 25.5% year-on-year in January. 
  • Construction activity in Argentina  decreased by 28.2%  
  • in January. 
  • Cement deliveries and motorcycle registrations also saw significant declines. 
  • Halting all public works, freezing public sector salaries and pensions, and eliminating many public subsidies, including for energy and public transportation. 
  • Tax Increases: Sharp rise in taxes, including import taxes. 
  • Real Salary Collapse: The real salary of registered private-sector workers in Argentina experienced the largest monthly drop in at least 30 years, with January’s real salaries potentially falling below the levels of the 2001 crisis.  
  • National taxes linked to economic activity across Argentina fell between 15% and 25% annually on a real basis. 
  • Food sales in retail stores fell 37.1% year-on-year in January. 
  • Minimum Wage: The current Minimum Living and Mobile Wage (SMVM) is 156,000 pesos per month ($184), with no increase despite high inflation. At least Nigeria is reviewing its own. 
  • IMF Forecast for Argentina: Predicted a 2.8% recession in 2024. 

More Insights 

Speaking further, the aide noted that the president will continue to prioritize the welfare of the citizens as he welcomes constructive criticisms from the opposition.  

He mentioned also that the President will ensure that the country recovers from the current economic challenges.  

  • “Alhaji Atiku, your statement is perplexing. Your critique of President Tinubu’s administration, while glorifying Argentina’s dire situation, is akin to applauding the captain of the Titanic for its speed, ignoring the iceberg dead ahead I understand the allure of sensational headlines and the temptation to draw parallels where none exist, but let’s be clear: Nigeria is not Argentina, and President Tinubu is not President Milei. 
  • “Let me be clear: President Tinubu will continue to prioritize the well-being of Nigerian citizens over the theatrics of austerity masquerading as reform,” he said.  

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