By Joseph Edgar . . .
Ok congratulations for the recovery of the loot. $9 billion they said and with the current exchange rate meaning that the government has made a kill. How the monies where recovered is not my immediate concern, the fact that some unconstitutional processes may have been involved in some of these recoveries I would let slip pass, my major concern in this write up is how these funds would be judiciously expanded to shore up the flagging economy.
My immediate thought on this matter goes to my friend Rio Ferdinand the former Manchester United Defender. Rio was a gifted defender of the ball and you had to be a mercurial striker to get past him. His defensive prowess led the team to so many victories because it was almost impossible to score goals when he was on the pitch.
However, his talents as a footballer ended there. In the midfield and attack he was as useless as a one year old toddler. Anytime he mistakenly found himself at the goal mouth of the opponent in front of the opposing goalkeeper, he would lose his composure and begin to fret, looking for his team mate to pass the ball to, instead of aiming to take the shot.
In some cases, he would start taking the ball back to his own area, his comfort zone and herein lies the problem; how do we progress if we don’t score goals.
Today this government is beginning to look like Rio Ferdinand. It has shown a uniquely acceptable talent in fighting corruption, closing the gaps exploited by the rogues who led us in the past, recording almost miraculous feats of getting back the stolen loot. But what it seems to lack now is the talent needed to score goals with the economy and like Rio, instead of facing the goal post and shoot it, is now dribbling its way back into the defense or look for a partner to pass the bulk hence the continuous blame of the woes of the economy on others.
With this kind of funds now in its kitty and the TSA, I would like to believe that the government should be in a better position to wrestle down the economy and reflate it with true policies. The relative success it has recorded with the fuel subsidy should be leveraged to score more goals. Today, oil prices are inching up to the $60 mark, our out put is gradually hitting the 1.6m pdd mark although still far from the 2m bpd should give it enough buffer to confidently tackle the challenges that a constricting economy throws at it.
I think the Buhari led administration should shut its eyes to a second term so that it would not need to bend to the forces of compromise thereby derailing itself. I think once this is agreed, a major cabinet shakeup be embarked upon to bring true technocrats who understand the issues and also have the clarity to forge upon us emphatic policies that would give us relief.
The government has shown enough appreciation to the godfathers that helped it come on board by giving their acolytes roles to play in the government and we remain grateful to them, but positions like the Ministry of Finance, the CBN, solid Minerals, foreign affairs should be immediately overhauled. They have been totally overwhelmed and Fashola’s ministry be broken into three so that he can face one area and show what he can do.
For me, despite the sufferings, the government has shown tremendous courage, it has shown that it can fight corruption and block leakages but what now remains is for it to show the same resolve that it has shown in fighting corruption in tackling the issues of the economy which in my mind’s eye is the main wahala.
I await with bated breath the next twelve months, for it promises to be an exciting ride.
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears
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