The Supreme Court verdict of 26th October 2023 puts an emphatic full stop to all political acrimonies arising from the February 25, 3023 Presidential elections disputations. It is safe to vouch that Nigeria and all citizens requires a new breadth of life, move on and contextualize the onerous tasks of national renewal, pulling the economy out of the woods. Any other vituperations by either Abubarkar Atiku or Peter Obi at this auspicious moment should be considered as rantings of irritant diversion. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must buckle up for the challenges of altruistic statesmanship which may requires him to reflect, rethink as well as reverse some salient economic policies that have provoked monumental hardships and sufferings of the people.
The Government, at this juncture, must invest massively in social infrastructural facilities-roads, education, health, and prioritise Agricultural, Food Security as Internal security of lives and properties.
As much as we salute the courage of Mr. President in following through the fuel subsidy removal policy, floating of the Naira as well as the foreign exchange reforms, it is important to emphasize that there are no easy-fix-it, cut-corners panaceas to the myriads of economic woes facing the nation. The economy has been terribly bastardized over decades by highly entrenched, institutionalized and, organized sabotage syndicates in the corridors of power. Halting and reversing this trend cannot be a Tea=Party, least to imagine re-kick-starting the engine of economic growth. The best of technocrats from all over the world cannot perform instant wonders with the state of comatose of our national economy. President Tinubu, however, must search his ingenuity pouch to find relief measures beyond palliatives to alleviate the harshness of his economic reform policies. The per-hour, daily galloping of the market prices of basic consumable goods is highly intolerable, unbridled, soaring currency exchange rates is inimical to local industries, while escalating insecurity dissuades foreign direct investment. It is instructive that we point out here that at the introduction of the neo-liberal economic policies by former maximum military ruler, Rtd, Gen, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, structural institutions were consciously constructed to give the “ Structural Adjustment Program”, SAP, a human face.
No doubt the President Tinubu administration is continuing in this neo-liberal economic policy thrust and has since become a pampered, covetous, beautiful bride of global financial institutions pushing for economic reforms that enforces subsidy removal, wholesome sale of public utilities under the guise of privatization, unregulated commercialization, and totally deregulated economy. If the truth must be heard, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, IMF, International Finance Corporation, IFC Africa Development Bank, AfDB and other global financial bodies are prescribing economic pills that are not only poisonous but fallacious in their projections o Eldorado. We are strongly of the view that, these economic reforms pills must be taken with a pinch of salt, guardedly with extreme caution.
We are aware that there is no economy in the entire globe that is totally deregulated or as unguarded as these financial institutions are attempt to force down the throats of developing countries like Nigeria. Even in the Europe and the United States of America, USA, Agriculture is heavily subsidized. Health and Primary Public Education are subsidized and incentivized, back up with effective insurance to provide net bracket of affordability as well as accessibility for citizens of all strata. As a Coalition of civil society organisations, we are aware of the sustained engagements by colleagues and co-terminus bodies in these countries to ensure that these rights and privileges of citizens are not in any way abridged. We, thus, wonder aloud why the hypocrisy of these European controlled financial institutions to impose these policies on hapless nations like Nigeria.
Mr. President must squarely face the task of revamping our ailing, collapsing Local Industries, Manufacturing Complex, and Indigenous Enterprises if we are determined to come out of the present economic duodenum. As we look forward to the presentation of the first annual budget by this administration, we expect audacious innovations in the 2024 Budget proposal that would “protect” our national economy and set us on the path of thorough recovery. The de-industrialization, dollarization must be curtailed if not halted for comprehensive protection of our local, national industries and economy. We, as a nation must collectively resolve and campaign to patronize made in Nigeria products and consciously dissuade hang-over on foreign products. A situation where the National Assembly and other public office holders spend scarce foreign exchange to purchase ostentatious, luxury goods like the recent SUVs from abroad while Innoson Motors were left unpatronised.
The pace that the President would set with next year budgetary proposition would determine the economic recovery process for the nation. It would equally dictate the likely institutionalized, social relief measures for the teeming populace. The President is well known for his reputation as a humanist, we look forward to his doing justice to this reputation by providing soothing balm to the pains of Nigerians as a genuine patriot.
LONG LIVE NIGERIA.
Frontline Socio – Economy Research Centre
Centre for Human and Socio-economic Right
OMOTAJE OLAWALE SAINT
WorkBond International Network (WIN)
COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS ;-
Network Alliance for Global Challenge
Good Governance for the masses
Centre for Human Rights Advocacy
Lawyers Without Borders, Abuja
Youth Initiative Agenda for Democratic Process
Southwest People Parliamentary Agenda
Yoruba Youth Assembly
Peace Initiative For Better Nigeria
Boarders People’s Rights Agenda
Democratic Youth League