January 25, 2024

Buhari team left economy worse than they met it- Media Trust Chairman


… Ordinary Nigerians are losers of Tinubu Reforms – Ajaero
…Criticizes Tinubu for implanting IMF, W/Bank policies
…Where are the palliatives, CNG Buses- Shamsuddeen Usman

Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief & Emmanuel Elebeke

The Chairman of the Media Trust Group, Mr. Kabir Yusuf, yesterday, passed a scathing verdict on the former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s management of the economy, saying that his team left the economy worse than they met it.

Mr. Yusuf spoke in Abuja, at the 21st Daily Trust Dialogue and Presentation of African of the Year Award, with the theme, “Tinibu’s Economic Reforms: Gainers and Losers”.

The Chairman said that members of the Buhari team have been trying to create a positive image for the Buhari administration through books launches but that they were not able to give account of their mandate.

Mr. Yusufu’s words, “Sadly, the economy has become more vulnerable than resilient.  The Buhari team, by most economic measures, left things worse than they met them.

“hey may have their excuses, and are actively trying to whitewash this record.  But as the Nigerian economy goes into a tailspin, its managers in the last decade cannot account for their mandate, in one or two book launches.”

The chairman said that although some members of the public may argue it was early to assess President Tinubu’s economic reforms, the group decided to focus on their impacts on the public in view of the far-reaching effects of the reforms on Nigerians.

Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, former Minister of Finance, who was chairman at the occasion; as well as, Com. Joe Ajaero, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Dr. Victoria Akai, immediate past Director-General of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry who were panelists spoke extensively on the impacts of key reforms, especially the fuel subsidy removal and the foreign exchange rates unifications which massively depreciated the Naira.
Ordinary Nigerians are losers – Ajaero

…Criticizes Tinubu for implanting IMF, W/Bank policies

Speaking on Gainers and Losers of President Tinubu’s economic reforms, the President of Nigerian Labour Congress, Comr. Joe Ajero, said that ordinary Nigerians were the losers of the two main reforms of subsidy removal and FX rates unification.

The NLC President criticized the Tinubu administration for implementating what he termed, “Bretton Woods institutions’ Policies”, insisting that removal of subsidy and floating the Nigeria had long been canvassed by both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

His words, “I was a bit worried when I did not see the Minister of Finance here.
“You don’t talk about government policy when they have not stated their policy. I feel worried whether we have any policy on ground.  What I see is a palliative economy and subsidy policy as we talk today, and that worries me.

“By the time the topic of these conference was given, we knew the gainers and losers, that is why I am here as the representative of the losers.

“We have seen a lot of Tinbubu’s economic policies, mainly taking instructions from World Bank and IMF.

 “It is not difficult to find out the losers and gainers. This is a situation where we have public disaster at private gain.

 “With the subsidy removal it is the masses that are losers not marketers. Whichever way you look at it, it is the masses that are the losers.

“Looking at key policies, hike in petroleum prices and devaluation of naira, it took Buhari 8 years to move from N260/$1 to N700/$1, but in just 6 months, under Tinubu, it moved from N700/$1 to N1350/$1.

“For me, it is not too early to mention the indices so far. The losers are those who bought petroleum products from N185 to N700, those who were taking N1,000 to work and today they are paying N4,000  without commensurate increase in salary, gainers are those who promised to pay wage award and refused to implement it.

 “When you claim to be saving more money, what do you save more money for if not for government being there for public good as stated in chapter 2 of the constitution.   The saving of the public money should be for public good and to continue to say this is not justiciable.

“For me, subsidy in Nigeria is a cat that has 9 lives and the meaning of subsidy in Nigeria is increase in price. The implication of subsidy removal is inflationary pressure, increased transportation, high cost of living, increase in maintaining businesses, depreciation of naira and high unemployment.”

“Yes, I agree the economy was down when Tinubu came on board but I think the first, two or three policies have inflicted more injuries on Nigerians and those injuries heavy coupled with harsh economic realities that had been with us. The situation is getting worst until we do a policy reversal.”

The NLC boss also criticized the privatization of government enterprises, many of which, he said had totally failed.

Com. Ajaero accused the federal government of selling government companies at take-away prices, thereby enriching private individuals, at the detriment of ordinary Nigerians.
Make KPIs public- Usman tells Tinubu

…Asks where are the 3,000 CNG buses?

In his remarks, Dr. Usman called on President Tinubu not only to set clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for his ministers and other Chief Executive Officers of Key parastatals and Departments of the federal government but to also make such KPIs public.

He identified insecurity and inadequate power supply as major challenges confronting the socio-economic development of the nation, which deserved priority attention.

Dr. Usman who was also, at different times, Minister of National Planning and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria said it was shameful for Nigeria to continue recording National Grid collapse in the electricity sector.

He noted that despite President Tinubu’s promises of palliatives and the provision of 3, 000 buses, powered by Condensed Natural Gas (CND) Nigerians were yet to see the buses, several months into the administration.

His words, “Where are the palliatives?  How well are they being implemented?  Where are the CNG Buses? These are legitimate questions.

“How are the additional revenues (from subsidy removal) being utilized?  If they are just used to pay salaries, then the majority of Nigerians will not gain from the subsidy savings.”  

There is hope for Nigerians – Fasua

 The Special Adviser on Economic Matters to the President (Office of the Vice President) Mr. Tope Fasua, in a brief remark said that the reforms of the present administration were not about “Gainers and Losers” but “gainers and gainers.”

His words, “The idea behind President Tinubu’s reforms is about gainers and gainers and not gainers and losers. We are quickly taking this reforms serious. Despite the downturn of the economy, there is still hope for 88% of Nigerians who fall within the informal sector of the economy and so, it will be difficult to cover that number in what NLC is fighting for.
“Nigerians should see Nigeria as their country and should not allow anybody to deceive them into going to “other countries where they are offered menial jobs. 

The economic policies we are operating under Tinubu’s administration are going to take the best from capitalism, socialism and from everywhere for our people.  We should stop thinking that government is a bunch of wasters.”

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