Former President Olusegun Obasanjo stated on Tuesday that the nation was not doing the fitting factor to enhance its economic system and struggle poverty.
The previous president, who stated this in his New 12 months’s message on the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State, has warned Nigerian leaders to cease blaming God for the insecurity, unhealthy economic system, poverty and different challenges the nation faces .
Obasanjo stated this on Tuesday when the president, Normal Muhammadu (retired), urged Nigerians to return to agriculture. He stated the nation’s oil business is in disaster.
However financial consultants rejected Buhari’s assertion, saying the federal government didn’t take the economic system’s diversification significantly.
In November, Nigeria entered its second recession in 5 years. In accordance with the Nationwide Bureau of Statistics, in its Gross Home Product report for the third quarter, GDP fell 3.62 p.c within the three months by way of September. GDP is the broadest measure of financial prosperity.
Obasanjo, who despatched his New 12 months’s message to Nigerians in an interview with journalists, assessed the federal government’s financial methods.
He additionally defined how the nation can enhance its economic system. He declared: “After we do the fitting factor; We’re not doing the fitting factor now. After we do the fitting factor, the financial savings shall be what they need to be. “
The previous president additionally suggested leaders to cease blaming God for Nigeria’s woes.
In accordance with him, with the massive assets out there within the nation, Nigeria needn’t be poor and no Nigerian ought to go to mattress hungry.
He described 2020 as a 12 months of many challenges, however urged Nigerians to work and pray laborious to realize “a wonderful 2021”.
Prayer should go along with work – Obasanjo
Obasanjo stated: “I just like the motto of a college that claims ‘work and pray’. Some individuals say it ought to be ‘pray and work’, however it does not matter in what order I put it, however prayer should be related to work and work should be related to prayer.
“And I imagine that we have to work laborious on this nation as we pray laborious that subsequent 12 months, 2021 shall be a wonderful 12 months for us. But it surely won’t occur except we work to make it occur.
“We do not have responsible God for our state of affairs. We’ve got responsible ourselves. Nigeria needn’t be poor; no Nigerian ought to go to mattress hungry. The truth that we’ve such a state of affairs is a alternative of our leaders and followers. My prayer is that God will make the 12 months 2021 a greater 12 months for all of us, however that won’t occur with out work. “
Describing 2020 as a difficult 12 months, Obasanjo stated: “We’ve got moved from a type of insecurity to a nasty economic system and on the prime is COVID-19. Some individuals, whether or not because of insecurity or unhealthy economic system or COVID-19, have gone to the good past, I’ll say those that left, particularly on this 12 months of challenges, that their souls relaxation in excellent peace ”.
I’ll struggle meals inflation in 2021, oil business in turmoil – Buhari
Additionally on Tuesday, Buhari stated Nigerians ought to return to agriculture, saying the nation’s oil business is in disaster.
Buhari additionally stated that his regime would struggle meals inflation in 2021, including that Nigerians should have the ability to produce their meals.
In accordance with a press release by his Particular Senior Assistant in Media and Promoting, Garba Shehu, the president spoke on the fifth common assembly with the Presidential Financial Advisory Council on the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The assertion was titled “President Buhari: The federal government goes to struggle meals inflation subsequent 12 months”.
Shehu quoted the president as saying that his regime would regulate meals inflation in 2021, whereas giving a directive to the Central Financial institution of Nigeria to not give cash for meals imports.
He stated Buhari instructed that CBN “shouldn’t give cash to import meals. About seven states are already producing all of the rice we want. We should eat what we produce. “
The presidential aide stated that Buhari questioned the place the nation could be in view of the devastating financial disaster attributable to COVID-19 if the nation had not embraced agriculture.
The president declared: “Going again to the land is the best way out. We rely on oil to the detriment of agriculture. Now, the oil business is in disaster. We’re being squeezed to provide 1.5 million barrels a day in opposition to a capability of two.Three million.
“On the identical time, the technical value of our manufacturing per barrel is excessive, in comparison with manufacturing within the Center East.”
Buhari additionally stated he emphasised the place of agriculture in efforts to revive the economic system, however agreed that measures ought to be put in place to curb inflation within the nation.
“We are going to proceed to encourage our individuals to return to the land. Our elite are indoctrinated on the concept that we’re wealthy in oil, leaving the land for the town in favor of oil wealth.
“We’re again on earth now. We should not miss the chance to make life simpler for our individuals. Think about what would have occurred if we did not encourage agriculture and shut the borders. We’d be in hassle, ”added the president.
In accordance with the assertion, the assembly, which aimed to overview and mirror on the worldwide and nationwide economic system this 12 months, was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in addition to ministers of Finance and Humanitarian Relations. He agreed to a sequence of measures.
The assertion stated, “In particular phrases, famous the sharp deterioration within the worldwide financial atmosphere and its impression on Nigeria’s persevering with, however fragile financial restoration; that Nigeria’s financial development continues to be restricted by apparent challenges, together with infrastructure deficiencies and restricted assets for presidency funding. He emphasised the necessity to make the personal sector of the economic system the principle supply of funding, not the federal government.
“The assembly analyzed progress in structural reforms in response to financial crises, together with the establishment of the Financial Sustainability Plan, modifications within the electrical energy tariff and the gas worth regime, the partial reopening of the Land Borders, the motion for unification alternate charges and price range reforms by way of the Finance Regulation 2020 and 2021. ”
Authorities doesn’t take diversification significantly – Utomi
In the meantime, financial consultants rejected Buhari’s pledge to struggle meals inflation and encourage agriculture subsequent 12 months.
A Nigerian professor of political economic system and administration knowledgeable, Pat Utomi, stated the federal government’s plans for diversification have turn out to be a chorus, one thing he stated he heard since he was a graduate scholar within the 1980s.
He famous that the federal government has all the time been insincere about an oil diversification plan.
He stated: “This chorus on agriculture has been occurring for at the very least 35 years that I’ve identified. As a graduate scholar in the US within the 1980s, I used to be on the New York airport and noticed Instances Journal and Information Week make the identical headline that oil costs because of the Iranian revolution had surpassed the mythicals $ 40 a barrel that was not potential.
“Inside a number of months, oil costs began to fall once more. The economic system was in a critical disaster in 1982 and at one time, Nigeria didn’t promote a barrel of gas once more.
“Through the years, the chorus of the Nigerian authorities has been to diversify, transferring away from oil and yearly nothing critical was carried out about it. You realize when a rustic goes by way of a long-term view, so you’ll deduce whether or not it is going to be dominant on this planet.
“Nigeria has by no means been capable of put ahead a plan that exhibits a future to be constructed within the agricultural worth chain. So every time I see a price range speech, I merely determine that we’re playful and do not take it significantly the place we’re going.
“The fundamental logic is that those that ran Nigeria are pushed by income, in search of straightforward cash to do what little they’ll and transfer on. There may be nothing futuristic about Nigeria’s plan.
“Each time there’s a disaster just like the one we’re experiencing, we hear about diversification. As oil costs rise, we’re again to our unhealthy habits. “
Suggesting a method ahead, the professor stated that residents ought to get critical and trustworthy individuals to rule.
We face starvation, insurgents expelling farmers – Mailafia
In flip, a former CBN deputy governor, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, stated it was not sustainable for the nation to rely closely on crude oil revenues.
He stated: “This mannequin will not work. Our public funds are on the snapping point. So, in that sense, I agree with the president on the urgency of what must be carried out. However simply saying that we must always all return to agriculture, it’s a mantra that we’ve heard through the years and it’s not attention-grabbing.
“Many farmers are discovering it tough to return to their farms due to rural banditry. We not too long ago noticed how insurgents massacred many farmers in Borno. What we face is a rising starvation. There may be famine within the land. Meals costs are getting uncontrolled; the availability aspect is affected.
“Secondly, I feel it’s too simplistic to say, ‘Return to agriculture.’ The kind of agriculture we’re doing will not be even sustainable. What is going to save this nation is a large industrial revolution led by agriculture that entails surplus labor in each rural and concrete areas by way of the method of industrialization utilizing agriculture as a base ”.
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Mailafia emphasised the necessity for rural infrastructure, reminiscent of roads, railways and power, in addition to entry to accessible inputs, accessible credit score and institutional assist providers.
An economics professor at Ekiti State College, Abel Awe, described price range allocation for the agricultural sector as “abysmally low”.
He requested: “Who’re the individuals who will go to the farms? What stimulus packages does the federal government should encourage them to return to agriculture? If they’re able to go to the farms, is the federal government able to create the fitting atmosphere? What in regards to the query of insecurity and harassment by pastors?
“Folks can’t go to farms as we speak due to insecurity. The president stated that we must always go to the farms; did he tackle the insecurity there? We are saying that individuals ought to go to the farms; how protected are the farms now? See the Center Belt now, which is the nation’s staple basket; do you farm in a horrible atmosphere? “