The Centre for Social Justice on Saturday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint competent Nigerians that would manage the economy effectively and reposition it on the path of sustainable growth.
The Lead Director, CSJ, Barrister Eze Onyekpere said this while reacting to the economic recession which the country entered into on Saturday having posted two consecutive negative growth rate.
He said the recession has provided yet another opportunity to the President to look beyond tribe, religion and party affiliations in appointing people with proven character and competence to manage the economic affairs of the nation.
In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction when there is a general decline in economic activity.
Recessions generally occur when there is a widespread drop in spending. This may be triggered by various events, such as a financial crisis, an external trade shock, an adverse supply shock, the bursting of an economic bubble, or a large-scale natural disaster such as a pandemic.
Nigeria recorded it’s worsts recession since 1987 as the Gross Domestic Product in real terms declined by -3.62 per cent (year-on-year) in the third quarter of 2020.
The contract mark the beginning of a full-blown recession and second consecutive contraction from -6.10 per cent recorded in the previous quarter of this year.
Speaking on the development, Onyekpere said the recession is coming at a time of when the country is facing increased national indebtedness, reduced revenue inflow, accelerated insecurity and a divided
nation as demonstrated in the just ended #EndSARS protests.
He said “We are living witnesses to aggravated deficit financing and deployment of 85.5 per cent of actual revenue accrued between
January and August 2020 to service debts; requests in the 2021 federal budget estimates
for borrowing in the sum of N4.2trn as well as vast parts of states in the North West and North East geopolitical zones taken over by terrorists.
“These development calls for actions, re-strategising and re-engineering of the Nigerian economy and polity to fundamentally respond to the challenges of the time.
“It is time for President Muhammadu Buhari to rise to the occasion and ensure that the most competent Nigerians irrespective of their religious, ethnic or political
party affiliations are brought on board to manage the economy.
“The most competent Nigerians irrespective of their religious, ethnic or political party affiliations are brought on board to manage the security agencies fighting terrorism and the insurgency.
“The most prudent use of the little available resources through blocking leakages in the system and recovering all resources stolen and mismanaged from the
treasury as identified in various federal audit reports.”
He also said proper investment in economic growth drivers and realignment of our priorities.
He called for “pruning the inappropriate, unclear and wasteful expenditure proposals in the 2021 budget estimates which are in excess of N235bn.”
He also said there is need to formulate and implement new economic, legal and policy frameworks that are responsive to the reality of the current economic realities.
“Finally, President Muhammadu Buhari should ease the tension in the land, curtail the abuse of human rights and fundamental freedoms by his appointees as a condition precedent for Nigerians to unleash their creative and productive potentials and energy in unity, bound by a common goal to establish a prosperous, growing and developmental economy which will benefit Nigerians in Nigeria and in the Diaspora,” he added.
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