By Robson Inibehe
Can’t the Central Bank’s Governor and the finance minister with the help of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rectify the Nigerian economy? If the answer is yes, what is the obstacle or why the delay? If no, how about the numerous professor s of Economic that are found in the Nigerian universities? In 2016 this was what we experienced in the country as economic recession, it was not only in Nigeria. It was a global problem. That of other countries had gone but in Nigeria we are still experiencing it. This is what gave birth to the present petroleum pump prices increment. I mean that is how the present deregulation policy came to practice in Nigeria. The immediate-past Federal Government had been complaining of the subsidy it had been subsidizing the petroleum products importation with. The present President Buhari of All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government came and had the same mindset and introduced the practice of deregulation policy and was immediately accepted and implemented. But does it solve the Nigerian problems? My other questions are: Where are the accumulated subsidies that the Federal Government had not been giving out again for the number of years it stopped the subsidy through gradual process? What had the Federal Government been doing with the ceased subsidy over the years since it stopped the subsidy before the recommencement of the fuel subsidy in the country, Nigeria? I am not criticizing mybeloved President negatively or disgracing him. I am a loyal as well as an unshakable supporter of All Progressives Congress. I need to know the truth about my beloved President, especially when I recall how he hated corruption in the military era. I would also wish to know the outstanding people-oriented programmes of my beloved President, Buhari, if they could be compared with that of the former President, Chief OlusegunObasanjo’s projects like; The establishment of NNPC Mega Filling Stations at all the 36 states in Nigeria, The establishment of Federal Radio Corporation in all the states in Nigeria; The creation of Niger Delta Ministry; he bought and distributed 1414 buses to all the Federal owned higher institutions of learning, all the state’s owned higher institutions of Learning and all the Federal Colleges in the country; payments of unpaid salaries to Delta and Ajakuta Steel Companies staff; payment of arrears of gratuities and pensions to the retired military men.; sponsorship of the year 2006 National Census which put money also in the pockets of the then young school leavers, too; well fixed economy, then; cheap tuition fees in all the then PDP led Federal Governments higher institutions of learning in the country; the country then experienced almost full employment; paid the then new minimum wage in the country the moment he resumed power or assumed office; he established three Federal Polytechnics in three states in the country then; lifted ban on importation; adopted Nigeria’s Civil Defence Corps; cheap petroleum pump prices then; Niger Delta Development Commission’s projects in all the Niger Delta States; the introduction of GSM Communication’s Industries to the country, Nigeria. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo achieved all these with a cheaper crude oil price and cheap petroleum products pump prices in the country, then. Should I bring in those of General Ibrahim Babangida and late General Sani Abacha? General Ibrahim Babangida created 11additional states and three hundred and something local government areas in the country. Before he created some of these states and local government areas, he paid the then New Minimum wage in 1990. Even with the new minimum wage’s payment, he did not bother how the creation of the additional states and the local government areas would cost him then, provided he developed the country, Nigeria, this he did. General Ibrahim Babangida also established the Aluminum Smelter Constructions Company (ASCON) at Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom State with the joint sponsorship of the World Bank.Late General Sani Abacha came and created six additional states and 283 local government areas in the country. Late General Sani Abacha’s administration fetched Nigeria a (Foreign Reserve). This was a great achievement. What an era of success and development then in the country? They achieved all these at the time crude oil and petroleum products’ pump prices were very cheap (at subsidized rates).
Before the creation of the additional states and local government areas by the two visionary military presidents and heads of states, there was nothing like the retail of petrol and kerosene in the petroleum sector apart the wholesales that were going on in some refineries then in the country.
What I mean is this, the country did not have the additional or the numerous sources of revenue it’s having today; that is the NNPC Mega Filling Stations as well as the Federal Radio Corporations in all the states in the country.
The NNPC Mega Filling Stations in all the states sale at the same rate as the Private Independent Marketers sell and maximized profit in the private sector. If the Federal Government cannot testify this, then something is wrong in the government’s petroleum industry and the managers should be held accountable for this fraud.
Let me quickly draw the attention of my beloved President to the present inflation going on now in the country. Inflation as I was taught is a situation whereby prices of goods and services increase generally from time to time for a very longtime in a particular place or country. This is, what we have been experiencing in the country for very many decades now. My beloved President, Buhari, these are ways by which this inflation can be controlled or be stopped in the country. If you really still mean well for this country as you started on a good note in year 2015, you may choose to implement the uniform salary’s structure policy in the country. Before this, the country’s economy should be corrected before the implementation of the uniform salary’s structure policy in the country. Or if this policy may not please you, all the professors of Economics in all the Federal owned universities and all the professors of Economics in all the states owned universities together with the Central Bank’s Governor as well as the minister of finance should be engaged in a national conference to discuss and come out with the policy that would be used to correct the country’s economy.Reactivation of all the Federal owned companies in the country should be discussed, too, in the national conference.
For almost twenty-three years of this democracy without military intervention, the Federal Government has not created even a local government area not to talk of a state.
No federal company has also been established by the Federal Government as it used to happen in the past. Neither has Federal Government reactivated any of the old federal owned companies. Sometimes it baffles me where the Federal Government pumps in the federal funds for almost seven yearsnow. This is where fighting of corruption should be taken seriously. There are some private universities in the country where their tuition fees now rise to N600,000. My beloved President, Buhari should seek to know those that are having children in these private universities and their sources of income. Let me also bring in the issue of full time lawmaking in Nigeria. Several times, have I been made to know that lawmaking abroad is on part-time basis. Why should Nigeria’s lawmaking be practised on full time basis when that of the developed countries are on part-time basis? The national lawmakers now earn up to N70 million or more on monthly basis by each of the national lawmakers, when majority of the unemployed Nigerians are struggling to have an opportunity to earn the present new minimum wage of N30,000 a month but cannot secure it. What a pity. The worst of it all is that some of these lawmakers are former two-term governors, ministries, commissioners, local government chairman, etc.
My questions now are; do we have markets for the rich and markets for the poor in Nigeria?
Are we to now adopt participatory democracy but not the long practiced indirect democracy again?
Robson Inibehe A. the general adviser to every government of the federation.