OPINION: What is President Buhari doing with the economy? Garba Shehu writes
In the face of the recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics that the economy is in recession, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, wrote this article explaining what President Buhari is doing with the economy. Read below:
LET me start by asking an important question: who wants to kill racy introspection?xxx There is a cacophony of voices telling the Muhammadu Buhari administration to close its eyes to the past; that given the enormous tasks that lie ahead, history and its consequences for our nation should be the least of the government’s preoccupation at this juncture.
I disagree. Let us keep a fiery memory of the past so that we don’t repeat its mistakes. Look back, look ahead. The future must of necessity be built on the foundations of the past.xx The Conservative Party took power in Britain six years ago from Labour. Check the British press, they are talking about Labour 24/7, is anyone complaining?
Japheth Omojuwa, one of Nigeria’s top three influencers seemed tasked in his patience reacting to calls that we must stop talking about the immediate past administration in this country.
“People are still talking about who ran governments in 1865 you want us to forget those who left government last year? (Expletive)”
Music icon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who many agree was a philosopher disguised as Afro-musician taught in one of his songs that without knowing where you are coming from, you won’t know where you are going. Wise men say that the empty can doesn’t disappear by simply kicking it down the road.
They should have had the courage and vision to do as the present administration is doing through the Economic Team, the Ministry of Finance under Madam Adeosun and the various agencies of the state to envision a better future by first of all fighting corruption. Look at what a civilian administration is today doing to the military, investigating their finance and accounts that the military could not do to themselves.
See what the current administration is doing sanitize the huge salary bill by eliminating payroll fraud. So far, the federal payroll has been rid of about 40,000 ghost workers. More than eight billion Naira stolen monthly has been saved.
We are also saving on wasteful expenses like First Class Travel and Private jets for official trips.
The federal government is not limiting the reforms to the centre but forcing State Governments to reform their spending and build savings or investments.
Government is also increasing spending on capital projects especially on infrastructure needed to make Nigerian businesses competitive and create jobs. The administration is at the same time blocking leakages that allowed government revenues to be siphoned into private hands.
Currently, there is focus on key sectors (apart from oil) that can create jobs and or generate revenue such as Agriculture, Solid Minerals and Manufacturing. If these things had been done when the oil price was as high as US$140 per barrel, Nigeria would not be in the current predicament. We would not be suffering now if we had no cash reserves but we had regular supply of power, a good rail system, good roads and good housing.
Now that the oil has fallen as low as US$28 per barrel, it is very difficult to do what is needed but they must be done to save Nigeria. There is no other way if we want to be honest.