Friday, 29 March 2019

Make Life Better For Nigerians In Your Next Tenure ,Tinubu Tells Buhari

All Progressives Congress, APC leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday, charged the Muhammadu Buhari administration not to burden the citizenry with foreign economic models that bring penury as it projects towards the next level.

Wife of the Celebrant, Senator Oluremi Tinubu; APC Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Govermor Akinwunmi Ambode of :Lagos State and his Wife, Mrs. Bola Ambode during the 11th Bola Tinubu Colloquium to mark the 67th Birthday of the APC Leader at the African Hall, International Conference Centre, Abuja.

The event which was marked with the attendance of some of the country’s leading political figures was, however, not physically graced by President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Ibikunle Amosun, two party stalwarts who were present at the pre-election 8thColloquium held in Lagos last year. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who represented President Buhari at the event, used the forum to upbraid the preceding Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, administration.

Tinubu, whose speech was entitled, “Work for the people that the people may work for themselves”, pointed out that in a bid to achieve the desired economic boom for Nigeria, the government must resist the temptation to blindly follow the economic path of other nations. Tinubu also warned against the planned increment of taxes by the government, saying it would worsen the poverty levels of the common people. The former Lagos governor suggested that the government could widen its tax nets rather than raising taxes in order not to exacerbate the plight of the people.

After assessing the economic models and performance of many leading countries and highlighting the challenges associated with them, Tinubu counselled Buhari that a conscious effort must be made to build the Nigerian economy to work better for Nigerians as he assumes his second term in office. What Buhari must do in Next Level Tinubu said: “Our pursuit of the Next Level cannot be achieved by blindly following the economic path of other nations. That would be tantamount to racing to live in a building just as its long-term occupants were frantically rushing out, screaming that the edifice was mean and crumbling.

If we are smart, we dare not enter. “Instead, we must construct our Next Level on a progressive ideology and vision that will take our people out of penury, diversify our economy more aggressively, and empower and retrain our youth. To be the great nation we purport to be, we must reform and retool our economy according to our definition of what is best for our own people. We cannot assign that duty to anyone else. “Here, I must ask for a little liberty to amend the fine title of this colloquium: “Work for the people.” We must do more than simply work for the people. Government must “work for the people in a way that enables them to better work for themselves. “We must amend our basic ideas about the economy. We must divorce ourselves from our fixation with GDP rates and similar statistics. These things were initially intended to be indicators, suggestive measurements. However, we have misinterpreted these road maps by treating them as if they were the destination itself. “This has caused us to distort the organic relationship between the people and the economy.

This dominant train of thought has made the people servants to the dictates of abstract economic theories. In a more effective system, the economy would be fashioned to serve the concrete needs and legitimate aspirations of the people. “Our economy must be redefined to be an efficient yet moral social construct with the primary goal of optimizing the long-term welfare of the people through the sustained, productive and full employment of labour, land, capital and natural resources. “In the current global context, the best translation of laissez faire economics is “let’s stay poor” economics.

To believe that we are at our best when everyone focuses solely on maximizing their own position is to believe that one hundred hands can clutch at the same naira note but no one will get scratched. “To pull the nation from poverty, government must play a decisive role.

It must at times direct and even develop markets and opportunities. This is nothing novel. I am only restating what the established economies did when they were young and assumed their trajectories toward growth. Yet, how do we organize ourselves to meet this task? While praising Buhari for taking bold steps to improve the economy, he nonetheless pleaded with him to dedicate his second term to changing the very structure of the economy for the better.

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