Palliatives: Govt making announcements without thinking, says Peter Obi


By Our Correspondent

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the February 25 general elections, Mr. Peter Obi has accused the All Progressives Congress, APC, – controlled federal government of making announcements without thinking, arguing that it had in turn, been producing limited outcomes.

The former Anambra State governor, who was fielding questions on Arise News TV, said he would have handled such issues as palliatives, increase in workers’ salary, stabilization of the naira, and fuel subsidy differently.

Obi said: “What we are suffering now is what I can call announcement of effect.
“There should have been well thought out policy by a properly constituted economic team before making announcements.

“You don’t just announce these things in a market square before deciding on what to do. Governance is different from that.
“Things have to be done differently and with proper thought-out measures.There should be coordination between the federal, states and local governments to be able to pull through this difficult time.

“This government has been doing announcements with limited thinking, which in turn, produces limited outcomes.

“If we look at what is happening now and comments of respected Nigerians, it underscores the erosion of value that calls for the urgency of building a new Nigeria where things will be properly done based on people saying the truth, doing things rightly within the laws and behaviours that should be the pride of a modern society”.

On fuel subsidy, Obi recalled that he had repeatedly described it as an organized crime, adding that the manifesto of the Labour Party showed the way he would have approached it.

“What they say we are consuming is far above what we are actually consuming. There is criminality and corruption side of it. Since the subsidy was removed, our consumption had reduced by 50%. “For me, the approach would have been to remove the corruption and criminal side of it and the excess demand to arrive at the factual figures.

“We would have, after consultations with the various stakeholders, found a way of investing the recovered excess revenue into the critical areas of education, health and removing people out of poverty.

“People should be able to see the transparency of transferring the gains from one place to the other. And when it is done in an organized manner, palliatives that are well structured and not done haphazardly, would have seen Nigerians going along with government”, he added.

On naira, he said it is not proper to float a currency without having adequate supply, adding that it is like building a house without a gate in a criminally – occupied society.

“There has to be a defence mechanism. Nobody floats what he cannot supply. The new CBN team should look at the overall monetary policy, which should focus on exchange rate and controlling inflation and removing criminality in the system.

“The naira has been under pressure and a bit of overvalued. What we should have done was to devalue the currency. Devaluation by about 600 would have been it, so that we can manage the supply and deal with issues that control the exchange rate.

“What controls the exchange is the reserve and what controls the reserve is the export. We should focus on things that would enable the country earn more foreign exchange, rather than allow it to be controlled by market forces, which we cannot control.”

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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