ASCSN seeks clear-cut policy thrust from FG
The union made this call through its National President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Kaduna on Tuesday.
Specifically, ASCSN said there is a need for an urgent policy thrust that will drive the real sector of the nation’s economy.
Besides, Kaigama in his opening address to delegates at the conference noted that it was high time the country retraced her steps as an oil-dependent nation given the recent dramatic drop in oil prices.
According to him, the only way to bring the country out of her current financial situation is by focusing on other areas of revenue generation outside the oil industry.
“The situation on the ground has been made worse by the recent dramatic drop in oil prices. It is also pertinent to state that the country’s weak economy has affected the value of the currency negatively and this had led to untold hardship to Nigerians because we are a country that imports dependent. As a way out of the precarious situation we have found ourselves, I will like to advise that Government should come up with clear-cut initiatives and programmes that will promote real sector growth and employment opportunities.
“It is equally important to stress the need for the diversification of the economy, which is critical for Nigeria’s survival as a nation. Currently, Nigeria derives about 80 percent of its revenue from oil. It is essential for Buhari’s Administration to implement policies to develop other sectors such as agriculture, energy, transportation, tourism, mining and steel, as they will assist to add value to the revenue generating capacity of the economy. This in turn, will create employment opportunities and open up a wider market for investments to thrive”, Kaigama said.
On President Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade, he noted that the degree of systemic and pervasive corruption in the country has continually moved the nation into a sorry state of poor institutional and infrastructural decadence.
“It is sad to note, that after 55 years of independence, Nigeria is still wallowing at the lowest ebb of development among the comity of nations due to corruption. The degree of systemic and pervasive corruption in the country has continually moved the nation into a sorry state of poor institutional and infrastructural decadence.
“It is perhaps the major explanatory factor for the deepening poverty and worsening insecurity that now stare us in the face. It may not be out of place to postulate that Nigerians now see it as crime for one not to be involved in corruption in one way or the other.
“The political elite, the ruling class and a privileged few now live in abundance and affluence while majority of the citizens wallow in abject poverty and squalor because of high level of corruption at the top. No wonder the World Bank describes Nigeria as a study in contradiction “so rich, yet so poor”.
“It is very ironical for the political class to think that the best way to guarantee a better, happier and a more secured future for themselves and their children is for them to attack the treasury and illegally pillage the common wealth of the people.
They fail to realize that the entire enterprise called Nigeria is being endangered by their shameful action”, he said.
To this end, he called on patriotic Nigerians to join hands with the present administration in its quest to tackle corruption, adding that the union wholeheartedly support the anti-corruption initiative of the current administration and its resolve to repatriate back to the country all looted funds.
Frowning at the level of infrastructural decay in the country, he urged the federal and state government to pay utmost attention to the provision of infrastructure. According to him, good and adequate infrastructure is a necessary condition for putting the economy back on track, while at the same time attract the urgently needed foreign direct investment into the country.
“It is quite disturbing that despite the huge progress being made by most nations of the world in terms of provisions of good and adequate infrastructure, nothing tangible seems to be happening in Nigeria in the area of provision infrastructure. It is a statement of fact that Nigerians run mini-governments by providing for themselves electricity, health care, potable water among others.”
“As if this is not enough, most Nigerians are also tarring roads leading to their homes. This is in spite of the fact that they are not exempted in any way from paying for utility bills including electricity and water supply. If you are not buoyant enough to provide all these for yourself as a Nigerian, you are on your own and life becomes miserable, unbearable, choking and suffocating. With citizens doing all these for themselves, you begin to wonder what the government’s responsibilities are supposed to be to the people they govern’, Kaigama lamented.
Dwelling on the high spate of insecurity in the country, he said the level of poverty, unemployment, uneven development, environmental degradation, corruption, the dearth of infrastructure are factors responsible for the situation.
Despite the huge budgetary allocation to security, adding that, unless they are tackled headlong “we will continue to live in fear occasioned by the very insecure environment we live in”.