Posted on September 30, 2016
Nigerian’s daily loss to activities of militants in the Niger Delta may soon ground the nation’s economy if government continues to trade blame over the issue, a council member of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), Misbau Aminu, said yesterday.
Aminu, who put the loss above N3 trillion in less than six months, said the country might be heading for doom as recent policies further worsen the plights of Nigerians.
He said Nigerians must not keep quiet and allow a section of the country hold the nation to ransom, urging that the Presidency must dialogue and plan a long-term initiative that would assuage the worries of the region.
“So much value has been destroyed, our GDP and per capita income has plumated. Negative growth is resulting from the crisis and Nigerians are living in pain,” Aminu told The Guardian in Lagos. To him, government must design a special education system, address environmental degradation and compensate the people.
“War will do no good in the Niger Delta. Resources for war may be adequate to provide holistic solution. Planning for the proposed solution can be done within six months, while genuine implementation may span over 10 years.
“In as much as Nigeria as nation cannot earn revenue. In as much as the source of the revenue is not there or distorted, the government will not have fund to put on projects, pay salary and finance the budget. It is so obvious that the large chunk of revenue that the government rely on comes from oil. If something is not done, we will continue to be in recession,” Aminu said.
Aminu insisted that government must dialogue with Niger Delta and apologise to the deprived people in the region, analyse past grouses, tackle immediate worries and give a reward to assuage frayed nerves. He said: “Don’t blame Niger Deltans but look back into the struggle against environmental degradation and neglect – livelihood denial, oppression and persecution.
“Their mentality, social behaviour and social structures have been destroyed over a long time. Restoring their trust, mind and brains to the Nigerian project will take a while. The lifestyle destroyed over the years cannot be corrected through the barrel of gun.
“Over N500 billion is lost monthly, which would have fulfilled election promises, and grow the economy. We are just pretending or ignoring the causes of our economic recession. Economic recession is basically caused by shortage in supply side of our economy – losses associated with Niger Delta crisis and drop in oil prices in international market.”
Aminu, who said call by some Nigerians that the country should sell its assets to generate revenue would further worsen the country’s challenges as the earning from the sales may not even as come quickly as expected.
“My question is, if we sell our asset today to finance development, if the fund finishes are we going to sell another asset? “We have been in economic slump for months now. The finance Minister and the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor have told us that they were pumping money into the economy and that the economy was going to be sustained. We didn’t get to -2 overnight. We fell to 0.36 per cent and again to minus two per cent simply because we don’t have what it takes to propel the economy. We must remember that we run a mono economy, which is dependent on oil,” the expert said.
Lamenting that the economy keeps shrinking, Aminu who said the economy has contracted to almost half added: “If any chief executive of a company does this to a company he or she would be sacked overnight”.
Source: Guardian Newspapers