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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Buhari, TSA And The Nigerian Economy

                                                                        
                 President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria
The implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in one fell swoop is disadvantageous to the economy. It would have been better for the policy to be implemented in phases rather than gathering all the mon­ies in the country and locking it up in a vault without Nigerians having access to it. If the money realized so far from the TSA is deployed into the provision of infrastructures, it will trickle down to the masses and also revamp the ailing economy to a large one. Where lies the wisdom for a father to have hundreds of bil­lions of naira in his bank account when his children are dying of star­vation?
President Buhari was portrayed to Nigerians during the election­eering as an austere and frugal man but his actions since assum­ing office don’t represent these two qualities. The expenditure of an es­timated N64 billion in one year by Buhari on foreign trips aimed at at­tracting foreign investors into the country doesn’t demonstrate fru­gality. Interestingly, Nigerians are trooping into Dubai daily to hold marriages, birthday parties and also buy merchandise but neither President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emir­ates none any government official has come here to solicit the patron­age of Nigerians! In a time of reces­sion as the country currently in, is it advisable for the President Bu­hari to maintain 11 aircrafts? One would have expected Mr. Buhari to have sold some of the aircrafts to reduce the cost of governance as former President Joyce Ban­da of Malawi did in 2012. The funds realized from the sale of the aircrafts could be deployed into the much noised agriculture sec­tor. Likewise, the Senate, the Ex­ecutives and the members of the State Assemblies are living in prof­ligacy. After the Senate was inaugu­rated last year, the upper chamber bought 36 Land Cruiser SUV cars at the cost of N36.5 million each yet they want ordinary Nigerians to tighten their belts!
Another undoing of the Buha­ri’s administration is his predilec­tion for religion. At a time when manufacturers, importers and stu­dents have no access to the Amer­ican dollar, he mandated the CBN to sell the dollar to Christian pil­grims going on pilgrimage to Je­rusalem in 2015 at N160 to $1 and this year at N191 to $1, for Muslims going on hajj to Mecca. Each pilgrim was entitled to pur­chase a minimum of $750:00 and $1,000:00 as Pilgrims Traveling Al­lowance (PTA). There were about 70,000 Christian pilgrims last year and about 65,197 Muslim pilgrims this year. One can imagine the to­tal sums of dollars this would have amounted to. This is an aberra­tion considering the fact that reli­gion is a personal thing and Nige­ria has no state religion. Why was the government involved in subsi­dizing the dollar for pilgrims at the detriment of manufacturers that need it to purchase raw materials for the production of goods?
Recall that former President Olusegun Obasanjo, late Presi­dent Umaru Yar’ Adua and for­mer President Goodluck Jona­than appointed technocrats like Prof. Charles Soludo, Alhaji Tan­imu Yakubu and Dr. Nwanze Ok­idegbe from the private sector as Chief Economic Advisers respec­tively. Thus, the economy boomed to some extent during these admin­istrations. Undoubtedly, many Ni­gerians will query this position be­cause they never see anything good in the entire 16 years of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader­ship which is rather unfortunate. The appointment of Prof. Charles Soludo, led to the rejigging of the economy at that point in time. Lat­er, he became the Governor of the Central Bank, this brought about a total overhaul and reform of the banking sector leading to the recap­italization of each bank to N25 bil­lion and cumulated in the emer­gence of 25 strong banks.
For the economy to be re­vamped, there is urgent need for President Buhari to appoint tech­nocrats from the private sector to help manage the economy. All over the world, the running of govern­ments is not limited to politicians or those who helped the president to win election. Again, Mr. Presi­dent should divorce himself from religion as the country is a secular state. The subsidy on dollars given to both Christian and Muslim pil­grims was not necessary as religion is a personal affair.

1 comment:

  1. Poor economic management under Buhari and APC led Nigeria into the recession.

    ReplyDelete

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