Hardship: Bihop Kukah Blames Tinubu For Nigeria’s Economic Problems; Obasanjo, Rewane, Others Remain Hopeful Of Economic Revival

By Lateef Adegbite

Matthew Kukah, a Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese is not a happy man. Bishop Kukah’s source of ubhappiness was not unconnected to the distribution of Palliative to Nigerians in the wake of the biting economic hardship facing the country by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Administration at the Local, state and Federal Levels.

According to him’’ the country is not at war to be subjected to such humiliating treatment by the government at the local, state and Federal government Levels by giving them palliatives.  An aggrieved Clergy man who could hide his feelings had said that Tinubu, who incidentally was a former governor of Lagos state should be blamed for Nigeria’s economic mess by floating the naira in the Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market, AFEM, and the removal of fuel subsidy, which the National Bureau of Statistics, BBS, under the close watch of Semiu Adeyemi Adeniran, have pushed country’s inflation levels to a new high leading to a hike in the cost of living.

Describing it as ‘’a height of indignity to see Nigerians lining up every day under the  sun and waiting to collect 25 Kg bags of rice each which never come not because  money  has  not been given out  but  because   everybody  who gives out money  in Nigerian from  the Federal purse   knows  that a good  part of  this money is always stolen.

Bello Matawalle, the immediate past governor of Zamfara,  home state of the Bandits and now minister of state,  Defense,  on March 17, 2024,  was said to have distributed food items in the state,  allegedly targeting the Bandits  led by  fugive  Ado Aliero,  who had been turbaned  as the Sarkin  Fulani  of Yandoton Daji Emirate on July 16, 2022.  Assembly.The former Zamfara state governor, was said to have dispatched 50 bags of rice, 50Kg each to Aliero, which was said to have been facilitated by one Musa Bawa Yankuzo, an erstwhile member of the state House of Assembly.

A s a prelue to solving the country’s economic hardship once and for all, the Catholic Bishop would want the Tinubu’s Administration and even the state governors who are currently involved in the distribution   of food items to the vulnerable Nigerians as part of moves to cushion the economic hardship in the country ‘’to   map out better ways   to tackle the nation’s economic challenges’’.

The Catholic Bishop was emphatic that what Nigerians need at present are not ‘’handouts from the various levels government but much more robust programme designed to help the country go away the current economic mess’’.   He may have alluded to the government fixing the country’s insecurity situation to enable he ordinary farmers who want to go back to their farms to do so.

Bishop Kukah of Catholic Dicese of Sokoto

He was said to have sent a message to the Nigerian President that ‘’a decisive programme and plan to end insecurity situation in the north western states of Sokoto, Zamfara, described as home of Bandits, Katsina, former President Muhammadu Buhari home state, Kaduna and the north eastern states of Borno and,Yobe,  all homes of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province , ISWAP, Insurgents, must be given adequate attention for now.

 He did not stop there. He would want the Tinunbu’s Administration to also pay much attention to the insecurity situation in  north Central states of Benue, Plateau  and Niger, where the heavily- armed Nomadic  Fulani herdsmen are making things difficult for the farmers as  well as tackling the tackling the insecurity situation created by  the Indigenous  People of Biafra, IPOB, founded by Nnadi Kanu, currently in the Custody of the Department of State Service, DSS, in the south eastern part of the country to make the people go about their normal business without fear of being kidnapped or killed on the road.

Recall that the Nigerian President had repeatedly told Nigerians at different forums at the unification of the country’s forex market and removal of fuel subsidy at the early stage of the Administration have had an adverse effect   on the masseses and the economy. True talk.

Cardoso: Governor, CBN

There is no gain saying the fact that Olayemi Michael Cadoso, who incidentally was a for Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget, during the then Tinubu’s Administration as governor of Lagos state and now governor of Central Bank of Nigeria,  which has the support of the Nigerian President has  been  the soaring inflation  , driven primarily by food inflation rate.

The ongoing volatility of the Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market and the Parallel or Black Market Exchange rate between  the North American country of the United States, US, dollar and the naira, may have persisted , according to financial experts  over the last couple of months   due to the  continued  disparity  between the  official  and unofficials exchange rates, that Vice President Kashim Shettima, had said  witkk stabilize in the coming weeks and months because of the various interventionist policies  being implemented  by the apex  bank.As at April 1st, 2024, the Black Market rate for exchanging, US, $100  was N124,000.00 and selling at  N128,000.00.

Former President Obasanjo Hopeful Of Nigeria’s Economic Survival with time

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, may have used the opportunity of a recent visit  to  Godwin Obaseki, who is on the last lap of his second term as the governor of the south-south state  of Edo,   to appeal to Nigerian Leaders’’ to see it as an opportunity and not a privilege’’, stressing  that ‘’ the country’s economic  realities  require  that those  in Authority  make sacrifice  and not think of themselves alone’’.

The former Nigerian President who had described as’’ unfortunate’’, the present situation where Nigerians are gven palliative at the various level of government is optimistic that that ‘’the situation will eventually turn around for good with time’’.

Olabode George, an Air Force Commodore, rtd, and Chieftain of the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, would want the former Lagos state governor to fulfil his electioneering Campaign promises, to the people of Nigeria ‘’to encourage them to speak positively of their country’’.

Bimarck ewane, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, had corroborated what the Ogun state former Nigerian President had said when he disclosed recently as a guest of Channels Television,  that the commencement  of diesel production  at the Dangote  multi-billion North American country of the United States , US, dollars, refinery,  will make the price  of the product  to fall the below the current price of N1000.00 per litre , which would go a long way to force  down the cost of transportation of food items from the hinterlands to the major towns and cities in Nigeria and the prices of the food items in the market.

rEwane: optimistic that price of diesel and other products will crash

Ayo Teriba, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Economic Associates, had said the prices of food items in Nigerian markets may not have taken advantage of the appreciation of the naira at both the AFEM and the Parallel, popular, Black Market Exchange rates because the food items that had been bought by the traders were purchased at the old exchange of the naira to the Us dollar and depends on the duration it takes to order and sell the items.

He noted that though the much expected drop in the prices of goods and services are yet to be effected   but  that the prices  have stopped  going up in the markets.  He asserted that if the traders decides on their own  to sell at lower prices  for the items purchased  at high prices before now,  they are going to record loses which may  tell on their market,  let alone replenishing their stock.

Adeola Adenkinju, President, Nigerian Economic Society, NSES, may have shocked Nigerians when he highlighted  the  economic rationale  behind the  delay  in price  adjustments of food items and other products in Nigerian markets ‘’ to the high prices  in which the traders had purchased the old stocks’’.

The NES, President, who had said that there was no need for Nigerians to worry over the high prices of food items and other products in the Nigerian markets,   noting that the traders will still sell at the old rate which they had bought the items ‘’ before reversing to the current prices of things as current stock is sold and new stock is acquired’’.   

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