Buhari Resumes •Talks Unity And Security •Economy Remains Comatose

By cattnews on August 21, 2017

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Buhari
Buhari


It is good that the President of the country, Muhammadu Buhari is back home. Not that the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who functioned in his place as the Acting President, was lacking in any way whatsoever; should one consider the ‘business as usual norm’ in this country, which is a visible person as the head of government and nothing else.

But then, a country could not be called the most populous black nation in the world and not have some funny characters. The so called funny characters set to work and what did they achieve? The president was forced to cut short his medical vacation!

It is equally good that the president did not waste time in addressing the nation. The brief speech was expected in view of the health condition of the president, and it sort of addressed the issues necessary at this point in time namely the unity and the security of the country.

It is sad to note that lately some Nigerians have been clamouring for all manner of changes to the polity of the country, the most notorious being those calling for the restructuring of the federation and should one consider the characters involved, the advice is that they should first restructure their individual and collective outlook on the entity called Nigeria.

Some sections of the president’s address are assuring; the interaction between him and late Chief Emeka Ojukwu for instance.

“In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.
“Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.
“Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.”
Another reassuring part reads thus: “I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.
“This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.
“The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.
“The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.”

The part that however requires a pause and critical examination is this:  “Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of economic security, political evolution and integration as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.”

This part applies the most to those dancing to the tunes of mischievous politicians and prominent Nigerians who tap into age-old fears such as religion (Boko Haram); resource control, self determination (Niger Delta Militants); State of Biafra (IPOB, MASSOB); the quit notice (North) and devolution of power or restructuring (NADECO, Afenifere) to foment crisis.

It is unfortunate to notice that these fears have overtime turned to explosive devices in the hands of aforementioned prominent Nigerians, aggrieved politicians and groups to distabilise the polity. And should these fears be examined closely are as the president tagged them ‘petty differences.’

However, as the president settles down to real business he should focus more on ‘economic security’ for the country beyond charging the security agencies on the need to tackle security challenges such as Boko Haram insurgence, herdsmen menace and kidnapping.

The president as the head of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) must work hard to cut back on the mounting debt burden of the nation.

It seems as if the APC government through its unbridled act of debt stockpiling has turned the country into money making machine, since most of the amount borrowed hardly go into stipulated projects.

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) quarterly review, which focuses on disbursement from the Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC), and made available in Abuja by the Director of Communication, NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji expressed concern that, the nation’s debt in relation to revenues appears to have reached critical levels. It further disclosed that domestic debt servicing constituted 90 per cent of total debt servicing.

According to NEITI the three tiers of government shared N2.788 trillion between January and June this year, which represents a 38 per cent increase on the N2.019 trillion shared within the same period last year.

The shared amount also represents barely 40 per cent of this year’s federal budget.

The review further disclosed that N513 billion was spent on debt servicing by the three tiers in the first quarter of 2017. This was against the N1.276 trillion disbursements in the first quarter. This means that debt servicing took 40.27 per cent of FAAC disbursement for the first quarter of this year.

For a party trying to ride high on war against corruption, it is evident that this particular administration has not been transparent and open enough concerning how it is handling the nation’s purse; it is either the monies accruing to the country are being embezzled and siphoned offshore as usual or they are being hoarded.

Reason: all sectors of the economy are grossly underfunded while the states too are not getting enough allocation from the center and it is quite visible that the level of the country’s foreign reserves remains dangerously too low.
Of all the goodwill messages that greeted the president on his arrival back to the country, one in particular stands out and it came from the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
NMA in an eleven point communiqué issued and jointly signed by its National President and Secretary General, Professor Mike Ozovehe Ogirima and Dr Yusuf Tanko Sununu respectively after their just concluded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Kaduna said it has “resolved to call on the President to utilize his positive experience in the health systems of other climes to impact on the health care system in Nigeria.”

On the medical flight abroad by Nigerians, Professor Ogirima said Nigerian doctors are competent to handle any form of ailment if enabling environment and good working tools are on ground, adding that the president may have sought for medical attention outside the shores of this country perhaps as a result of ill-equipped hospitals in the country.
According to NMA as contained in its communiqué, “the NEC observed with dismay the continuous low budgetary allocation to health leading to declining health care service delivery in the country.
“The NEC observed with dismay the worsening availability, distribution, development and utilization of human resources for health within Nigeria’s health system and the increasing trend of brain drain especially affecting the already weakened man power base in the country.
“NEC calls on government to implement the Abuja Declaration of at least 15 percent budgetary allocation to health and ensure timely release of funds with effect from 2018 budget and appealed to the National Assembly to fast track the passage of the bill on Residency Training Program (RTP) in Nigeria.
“NEC calls for the improvement in Epidemic control, preparedness and establishment of more Infectious Disease Hospitals (IDH) throughout the country, and that the government to intensify efforts to improve funding on immunization services and further strengthen the collaboration between government and non governmental agencies.”

This communiqué definitely encapsulates the dismal level of attention the ruling APC is paying to all sectors of the country’s economy.

Buhari need to act!

Source cattnews

Posted 21/08/2017 7:25:01 PM

 

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