By Joseph Edgar …
I think we are back in 1983 when the only agenda for the Buhari/ Idiagbon junta was various wars against corruption and indiscipline. Nigerians where herded into various prisons with unimaginably long prison spells and this in itself further stunted the economy and turned us into a country of zombies.
Today in Buhari’s reincarnation, we see the same cycle. All we hear are stories of probes, anti-corruption, cleaning up the Augean stables, repairing the damages and destruction caused by years of looting by the last government. What we have not seen, is a clear vision of the direction the government will be taking on moving the economy forward, opening it more to investments and further preserving the middle class created during the Obasanjo regime.
I just woke up to the news that more probes are coming, parastatals like NPA, NIMASA and the like would be subjected to probes. What this does is that everything comes to a standstill as key officers are usually placed on working suspension, accounts frozen, and policy execution and implementation suffers a freeze and its effect on the economy cannot be quantified.
My question is, do we really need these probes? What are the economic benefits to us when we will still spend years to recover the looted funds? All the probes during Buhari’s military adventure are only just leading to some of the funds coming back almost 30years later.
I think we have clear and present issues that this government should tackle and leave all this probes alone. What I am seeing is a paucity of vision as to the way forward hence the need to hide under probe as the main focus of the government while leaving all stakeholders guessing as to the direction the government will take on the economy.
The last visit to the U.S was an ample opportunity to open up the economic direction, seek the support of the international business community and push for favorable policies from the western government towards our attempt at rebuilding our economy along very clearly stated economic angles. But no, what did we get? The continuous cry of the Jonathan government looting the country, a request for arms to fight Boko Haram (which in itself was ok), a list of economic looters and the earth shattering revelation that $6b had been looted.
We need vibrancy in the management of the economy instead of the present situation where the CBN governor has been left alone in the battle for the Naira without fiscal support. No cabinet to forge and endorse a workable economic policy thrust. Inflation is beginning to climb again, the Naira is taking a beating, the stock market is almost comatose and all other sectors of the economy are in their very last breathe.
The only sector still thriving is Nollywood. Did you see the figures from the breweries sector? A sector that normally thrives in a slump. All indices are down and the government is busy probing and shutting down the economy.
As a money manager, I feel this directly as we are seeing the growth in FDI stall and also foreign money managers also taking their time to play in our markets because of this seeming uncertainty.
Buhari’s recent instruction that the pipe dream of a national carrier be immediately resuscitated, in my mind has further driven the death knell into my hopes of an economic resurgence under this government. What we are looking at is big government, centralized direction of the economy, government control and its attendant inefficiency in managing what should be private sector driven. This shows very quickly that the military mentality is rife, that we are back in the 80s.
Another bad and gloomy sign is the resuscitation of the refineries and the sack of NNPC top honchos and immediate appointment of a new helmsman and refusal to take a definite position on fuel subsidy. A forward looking government should be looking at privatizing all these dragons and limiting itself to a regulatory role. All this will lead to the continuous contraption of the economy and its adverse effect on the poor people who voted for this messiah.
We need to free up the economy, that was what Obasanjo did. Open up the space, create an enabling environment, push very credible fiscal and monetary policies, plug leakages, pull back from the management of the economy and watch the 170m highly productive Nigerians build an economy that should in ten years rival the economies of the Asian Tigers, till then we continue to wallow in the darkness and aimlessness of a newly minted democrat with the brains of a military despot. Welcome 1983.
RipplesNigeria… without borders, without fears
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
INVESTIGATION: How N70m road construction created more hardship for Sokoto residents
“To address recurrent accidents on Gagi to Gidan Dilo road and Fakon Idi roads, in Sokoto State, the Federal Government,...
INVESTIGATION: Inside Kwara school where students are used as labour on teachers’ private farms
In this report, SHEREEFDEEN AHMAD uncovered how young students in Kwara State, Nigeria, are being used for labour work on...
INVESTIGATION: How Kano SUBEB awarded contracts to inactive contractors, non-existent schools
In an effort to address issues hindering quality education, the Kano State Government in 2020 awarded N88,406,667.10 for the construction...
SPECIAL REPORT: Hike in gas price forces more Nigerians to use coal, sawdust, as smoke kills 93,300 yearly
In the build-up to the 27th Conference of Party (COP 27), Nigeria recently launched its energy transition plan (ETP) as one of...
INVESTIGATION: How roadside foods endanger consumers’ life with trans fat in northern Nigeria
With an estimated 854,000 deaths in Nigeria, and 3,229 attributed to trans fatty acids (TFA) -related cardiovascular deaths, ADESOLA IKULAJOLU visited Nigeria’s...