Even though the current economic crisis is caused by the crash of oil prices, I think President Muhammadu Buhari is not applying the right antidotes.
The Federal Government should do away with its I-know-all attitude and put in place an economic team that would include people from the private sector. The economic team should draw up a blueprint covering short, medium and long-term measures to be adopted to salvage the economy. An emergency economic template should be adopted immediately as a stopgap measure.
The administration got it wrong when it delayed the formation of the cabinet for about six months. It needs to find a way to make up for what it lost as a result of the delay.
We need a strict foreign exchange regime. Inconsistency in policy making is also a major problem of the administration. Though not directly caused by President Muhammadu Buhari, the delay in passing the 2016 budget also contributed, to an extent, to the current state of the economy.- •Olugbenga Adimula
Everything that is happening now has been with us for decades. The problem is that we have too many fake people who indulge in flamboyant and expensive lifestyle.
The situation is increasingly getting tougher. That is the truth. But personally, I like what is happening. Perhaps, this would make us wiser. It is not just about the President; all hands must be on deck to solve the problems. Those who applaud economic saboteurs like the Niger Delta Avengers must think twice.
Most importantly, the government must get its priorities right. Otherwise, we would not advance.- •Pius Ekemiri (An optometrist)
Corruption has been a major challenge militating against the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to move the country forward. However, there are many gaps in the administration’s policies. First, what has happened to the money it recovered from corrupt public officials? Part of the money should have been used to create some social schemes. The administration has failed to do that to cushion the effects of the recession.
So far, nothing has been done to improve the state of infrastructure. Electricity supply has remained unstable, making it extremely difficult for the manufacturing sector to survive. The only welfare package – fuel subsidy – enjoyed by Nigerians has been removed. Fairness demands that Buhari replaces that with a more equitable social programme. But that has not happened.
The expectation of Nigerians was very high when the administration was inaugurated. Unfortunately, many people have been disappointed. The President has not provided the right solutions to the challenges. But I think Nigerians need to pray more than complain. – •Adeyemi Olugbenga (A pastor)
All economic indicators are negative. All the policies of the Muhammadu Buhari administration are reactionary. They are only implemented on trial basis, and are quickly changed if they turn out to be ineffective. A government that has a blueprint should not do things like that. The President needs to be consistent; it does not help when you shock people every time.
President Muhammadu Buhari doesn’t even have the influence to make the restive youths see reasons why they should stop bombing oil and gas assets. Economic recession has hit Nigeria twice — 1984 and 2016. In both cases, Buhari was or is the President of the country.- •Emmanuel Onuoha (A lawyer)
I believe the President’s economic policies are on the right track. But he needs to carry everybody along. Those who have benefitted from the existing policies we want to discard should also be given a sense of belonging to avoid sabotage.
Getting everyone to see and understand the economic direction of the administration via regular communication is important. There should also be a speedy execution of proposed policies as this is critical to the success of the administration.
There is a bill in the National Assembly that is seeking emergency powers for the President. When the bill is passed, it would increase the speed at which the ecomomic reforms are implemented. We cannot say that the days are bright. But I am sure that we would get out of the gloomy situation graciously and stronger. What we need is patience.- •Deola Kayode (A digital media consultant)
I would not say that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed. But I don’t think his policies are capable of solving the current economic challenges. Today, a dollar exchanges for almost N450. That makes imported food items too expensive.
Meanwhile, we do not have the capacity to produce some of the food items we import. What that means is that people would find it difficult to survive.
Almost everybody is complaining. If the working class are complaining, what would be the fate of the jobless people? Much as it is important to fight corruption, Buhari should also focus on the economy. Otherwise, millions of the citizens would not be alive to witness the perfect Nigeria he wants to build.
Things are so expensive that the N18,000 minimum wage cannot buy a 50 kilogramme bag of rice. I don’t think what the President is doing would solve the economic crisis.- •Yemisi Fadumiye (A teacher)
The policies of the current administration are retrogressive. For instance, we do not produce rice, which is a staple food in the country. Yet, the government does not want people to import the commodity. Before you ban the importation of any commodity, there should be a local substitute. Why should the government even ban the importation of an essential commodity?
The President should begin to reverse some of the policies that have made life unbearable for Nigerians.
I would advise Buhari to resign because he is confused. In the past few years, we were confronted with the menace of Boko Haram. Is the hunger in the country today not worse than Boko Haram? He promised to reduce the pump price of fuel to N40 per litre before he was elected. But he increased it N165. What was he thinking when he made those promises? – •Samson Babatunde (Furniture maker)
I think our political leaders are confused. Obviously, they do not know what to do. I learnt that a dollar is above N420. And it is still rising. A lot of things have gone wrong and I don’t know how the government wants to correct them. President Muhammadu Buhari needs to go back to history. He needs to study the successful policies of previous administrations. Perhaps, if he employs some of them, things would improve. Otherwise, I don’t know how the country would get out of the current mess.-
The priority of the administration should be the welfare of the people. People should be able to eat well and live healthily. Anything short of this would not help us.- •Adeoye Adebayo (An educationist)
A lot of Nigerians have regretted voting for Muhammadu Buhari. Civilised rulers consider the possible impacts of a new policy before they embark on it. Sometimes, they even test it.
But what we have witnessed is trial and error. Some fathers have abandoned their children and wives as they cannot continue to feed them. I don’t think Buhari has any a solution to the current economic crisis. –•Igbekele Abina (An auto mechanic)
Ordinarily, one would have concluded that President Muhammadu Buhari’s emergence and his anti-corruption stance would transform the economy. But, this is far from reality.
The government, which obviously lacks an economic blueprint, also lacks an economic team that is capable of handling the current challenges, thus making it appear rudderless. What we find are fiscal and economic policy failures. Unfortunately, it is the Nigerian masses that are paying the price.
The sooner the President admits his inadequacies and humbly stretches out his hands to experienced technocrats and economists for help, the better for us.- •Victor Okhai (A journalist)
Compiled by Geoff Iyatse and Olutola Odusina