Nigeria has had a number of bad economic times in its chequered history from 1960 to date. The 1967-1970 during the civil war era followed by the Murtala – Obasonjo period of 1975-79 when full blown austerity measures were taken, the Shagari’s in 1982-1983, the IBB’s SAP programme etc. unknown to most people OBJ in 1999 began with austerity measures which lasted for almost two years. The current situation is no more different from those eras but what makes this unique is that the “connected world’’ we live in today which makes anything, anywhere and anytime available to people through social media and other form of human communication make people aware of what is happening around the world and how it is affecting them.
The bitter and hard truth about the cause of the economic down turn/ melt down we have been going through is the ‘Boom-Burst cycle of oil revenue’’. I have watched, read and listened to all the comments, arguments, and analyses of what led to the current situation we are in and how to get out of it. From these reports one can really see a ‘’PANICKED NATION’’ caught with its pants down not ready for a solution. The measures so far taken- floating the Naira turned to be disastrous and the proposed sale of the assets as the last option may be even more catastrophic than the first option.
The advice to get rid of our assets came and muted from a worse source- people who benefited from the system through many dubious ways like tax waivers, import waivers, stealing of public assets, corruption and kleptocracy. This same people who ran down the country want to complete their mission by turning the 180 million Nigerians into their slaves- I called them the.0001% (per centers) they want exploit the recession to enrich themselves and rip off the country. This must not be accepted.
Strangely and up till this moment those talking about the sales of the assets do not bother about the root cause of our predicament. They never attempt to negotiate with the people blowing and destroying our lifeline. The Senate President and his fellow conspirators have not set their foot in the Niger Delta and instead of that they went on recess while the economy is grinding to a halt.
My suggested ideas or proposasl for the Government to follow are:
- Account for all the assets sold from 1999 to date before embarking on any new sale of public assets- the federal government properties sold, (buildings and houses), the companies sold etc. these are not sold to ghosts. The records must be somewhere and intact. The officials that handled these sales are very much around.
- Scrutinize all the payments made and especially to BPE through forensic Audit of the entire transactions from 1999 to date.
- Federal Government owns 40% of Discos and Gencos. The Government should request these companies to pay her 40% of the revenue collected from takeover to date.
- Get rid of the one of the chambers of the greedy, selfish, corrupt and unproductive and Naira guzzling National Assembly. They are liability to the country but we can tolerate one chamber only for the time being.
- FGN must as a matter of urgency produce and implement a ‘’Cost Cutting Road Map’’ similar to the Murtala / Obasanjo’ Regime in mid 70s. SUV’s should be banned; salaries of law makers should be drastically reduced, overseas and local trips to be curtailed etc. Some states governments have been irresponsible and reckless with the resources of the people some kind of restrictions on the way states handle their finances need to be enforced.
- FGN must also embark on campaign to educate the people about the recession. I remember as a student in UK in the 70’s during which time the country was in recession they educated the people with a slogan – let us use recession to plan for the future. There was never blame game and people accepted the challenge.
These are my few points for the consideration of the FGN. All the monies realized from these be ploughed back into the economy to help us out of the recession.