By Anayo Ezugwu
IN order to solve the worsening living conditions of Nigerians, Gani Adams, Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, has called on the federal government to fix the ailing power sector. He said a country that doesn’t have stable electricity supply will not develop.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Realnews, Adams said that many sectors had been neglected in Nigeria and its affecting the economy and impoverishing the people. “The major one is power supply. Secondly is insecurity. Nigeria is a country that God blessed in all Angles, but our leaders are not leveraging on it. Definitely, the issue of poverty in Nigeria cannot be quantified as of today. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
“The way the budget is coming, we are not sure that the economy will improve because we borrowed 30 percent of our last budget. Now you have increased tax. By increasing tax, the prices of essential commodities will skyrocket. So the prices of goods and services will be higher. The landlords will increase their rents and definitely many people living in the urban areas will be going back to the rural areas without even getting jobs in that place.
“So when you are talking about economy and Nigeria is planning to go and borrow $30 billion and economic analysts say that when we borrow this money we will be using 50 percent of our budget to service the debt. I’m not an economic expert, but given the level of my education and analysis, it does not make sense.
“Yoruba will say: when a spirit cannot help you, it should leave you the way you are. We only concentrated on oil and now we are shouting agriculture, but the government is paying attention only to the north. Other viable lands in southern Nigeria, they are not injecting money and opportunities to these lands. Assuming there is no spirit of nepotism in this government, if they use the resources they are putting only in the north and share it to all the zones we could have been planting different crops that will reduce the price of food.
“When you have solved the problem of food that your citizens can buy food at cheaper rate, you will be talking about shelter. Shelter is about building houses by government or it empowers the mortgage institutions to build houses and ask Dangote to reduce the price of cement. When the price of cement is being reduced and you ask people selling sand to reduce their price, definitely the cost of building houses will be low.
“At the end of the day, if you can solve the problem of housing and food, people will take care of themselves in terms of buying cloths and other things. And if you can’t open your border, you empower the textile industry to resume production. When you solve the problem of housing, feeding and people can wear cloths at their level; definitely there is limit to shouting about poverty,” he said.
Adams regretted that Nigerians are in the state of abject poverty as a result of mismanagement of the country’s economy. “The level of our economy shows that we are in the stage where our people are in the state of abject poverty. Even in the rating of economies of the world, Nigeria is one of the 20 worst poor nations.
“And apart from the international rating, it is an eyesore because a country that doesn’t have stable Electricity, there is no way that country can grow. In a country that all the zones are being threatened security wise, there is no way a very good investor can come there and invest. And when you don’t have stable power supply no investor will take you serious and bring his billions of dollars to come and invest in that area.
“And a country that does not have a stable policy, the federal executive council can sit down tomorrow and change anything based on cabal interest, no investor will trust that country. And a country that don’t manage its international relations very well, that most of her citizens are being caught with either drugs or are involved in international frauds, investors will be scared to come and invest in that area.
“And a country that doesn’t believe in rule of law, who treats her citizens as poorly, even court judgment being given, the government will not respect it. A country that doesn’t want to respect freedom of speech and expression, it will be very difficult for international agencies to give grants and bring international institutions to that country,” he said.
– Jan. 10, 2020 @ 16:05 GMT |