By Vincent Uba
Nigeria, like all other countries of the world, is facing serious economic crises occasioned by the current Covid-19 pandamic ravaging the entire world. There is no nation on the globe that its economy is not in a turbulent state, and the citizens not crying over the excruciating hardships.
Dealing with these economic crisis is the responsibility of every responsible government under the support and understanding of the patriotic citizens. That is the hallmark of citizens participation in good governance for socioeconomic growth and development.
Those who are economically informed know that Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, is doing what it must do to keep the country moving. The recent policies and actions of government are not punitive measures, but remedial in nature to prevent the country from collapsing economically and socially.
Since the inception of this administration, there have been global unforseen events that only prudent, disciplined and courageous leader like Buhari can manage. The crude oil glut of 2015 till date, the twin problems of looting of our national treasury and insurgencies and the current Covid-19 pandemic should make us appreciate the reason why God chose President Buhari in 2015 to pilot the affairs of the country in these perilous times .
Yes God saw beyond us and knew what was about to happen and so decided to choose a man who would be able to frugally manage the affairs of the country under these national/global disasters. God undoubtedly knew that the previous governments that could not manage our God given resources and save for the rainy day in times of oil boom and plenty but were rather busy looting, cannot manage our economy in times of famine and less revenue.
Five years down the line, Nigeria is still existing as a nation, as against certain predictions before the 2015 general elections that the country would disintegrate and cease to exist as a nation. All thanks to the astute leadership qualities of President Muhammadu Buhari, despite the sustained unpatriotic activities of IPOB and its allies.
When the price of crude oil, which is the mainstay of Nigeria economy, crashed globally from over $150 per barrel to below $30 in 2015 and plunged Nigeria into a recession, President Buhari and his team were able to manage the situation and steer the country out of recession.
Have we forgotten the era before 2015 when we consistently witnessed acute fuel scarcity, and became used to queueing for days at the petrol stations with fuel being sold between N200 and N250 per litre? Even at that rate, most people were saying it would be better to buy at such high prices at ease than queue for so long or even sleeping at the petrol station with little chance of seeing the product to buy.
Should we not be applauding the president that we are no longer in such a dehumanising era of the past? Should we not also thank him that we are no longer in the era of epileptic power supply , even though we know some areas still experience problems of power but it’s not thesame compared to what we were used to in the past . We should encourage the president and his team to continue with result oriented reforms that would turn around the Nigeria economy today for a better tomorrow?
This president was courageous enough to ban the importation of foreign rice and closed the land borders to check the smuggling of the product, an action that has now been realised to be very apt. Before the action, little did many know that Nigerian rice was of a high quality comparable to the foreign one.
On discovering that the Nigerian rice is better than the expired foreign ones being imported into the country, unscrupulous traders resorted to rebagging these as foreign and are selling same at exorbitant prices. Despite all these, Nigeria is becoming a rice producing nation, saving a huge amount of foreign exchange.
Under the prevailing dwindling oil revenue and the current effect of Covid-19 on the economy, government has to embark on alternative sources of revenue . Tax reforms , removal of subsidy on fuel and electricity tariff increase have become imperative at this time . If government should listen to the organised labour and reverse these actions already taken for fear of labour going on strike to shut the economy, then the economy will eventually be shut and the same labour will turn around to blame the government for doing nothing.
We, therefore, call on the Nigeria Labour Congress, its allies and the citizenry not to judge the government unfairly on these current economic remedial measures. We must all be patriotic and show understanding in the spirit of sacrifice and embrace the good policies of government geard towards laying a solid economic foundation.
No Alternative To Buhari-Osinbajo 2019 (NATBO 2019)