Ruto's Advisor David Ndii Speaks on Fuel Price Hike Concerns

President's Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) chairperson David Ndii
President's Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) chairperson David Ndii
David Ndii

David Ndii, the economic advisor to President William Ruto, has elicited mixed reactions with his recent comments, in which he expressed concerns about trusting politicians and the government.

While responding to inquiries from concerned Kenyans over a spike in fuel prices, Ndii reiterated that the current events are a culmination of a borrowing binge initiated by the previous government which he had warned Kenyans about.

In his response, Ndii maintained that it was naive for Kenyans to expect the country's fortunes to change 'overnight', following a change in government.

He boldly declared, "I don’t believe politicians, and I don’t trust government."

President William Ruto (left) shakes hands with DP Rigathi Gachagua on September 10, 2023.
President William Ruto (left) shakes hands with DP Rigathi Gachagua on September 10, 2023.

Furthermore, Ndii questioned how Kenyans could expect economic recovery after years of continuous borrowing by previous administrations.

He challenged the notion that Kenya could accumulate debt for a decade and then miraculously solve the resulting problems through elections, likening it to a game of musical chairs.

He remarked, "Are we sober? I told you two years ago Kenya was in receivership. Nothing has changed."

Ndii clarified that his intention was to fulfill his civic duty by informing Kenyans about the harsh realities they might face, suggesting that some government policies might not yield positive results.

He emphasized, "I'm not a politician, and I don't peddle false hope. This journey may be painful, and success is not guaranteed. Even highly trained doctors from prestigious institutions like Oxford and Harvard lose patients.

His comments elicited mixed reactions, with some opposition politicians praising his remarks. 

Nairobi Senator and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna remarked, "It's difficult not to appreciate David Ndii. He's revealing that Kenya Kwanza is a government of trial and error. It's all guesswork. 'Doctor' Ruto appears clueless. Kenya is the patient in this scenario."

In explaining the recent fuel price hike by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), Ndii stated that such oil shocks were normal in a country experiencing rising inflation and interest rates due to global supply challenges.

On Thursday, petrol, diesel, and kerosene prices increased by Ksh16.96, Ksh21.32, and Ksh33.13 per liter, respectively, and will now retail at Ksh211.64, Ksh200.99, and Ksh202.61 in Nairobi.

Economic Advisor David Ndii on June 2023
Economic Advisor David Ndii at State House taking an oath of secrecy to attend Cabinet meeting on June 2023