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What We Need to do to get out of Economic Recession -TUNS

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What Nigeria Needs to do to get out of Economic Recession -TUNS

The Asiwaju Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Chief Khamiz Olatunde Iyanda Badmus, popularly called TUNS held a 10-minute interview with journalists at his residence in Osogbo on Monday during the Eid El Kabir celebration. CityMirrorNews was there. Excerpt.

TUNS

TUNS

What message could we draw from this Eid el Kabir celebration?

The message of the eid el kabir is enormous, but the most import of it is that we should be submissive to God, our parents and we should always keep to our promises. When prophet Ibrahim prayed to almighty Allah to give him a son, and a promise to sacrifice the son to him, Allah gave him a son named Ismaeel and he was living happily. Later, Allah reminded prophet Ibrahim of his earlier promise to sacrifice Ismaeel to him. As difficult as the task was, prophet Ibrahim kept his promise; he told his son, Ismaeel that he had promised to sacrifice him to Allah. Ismaeel, being an obedient and submissive son, released himself for the sacrifice. That was an expression of faith and fear of Allah. As prophet Ibrahim was about to slaughter his Ismaeel, Allah sent down a ram to replace him. So, ram was slaughter as sacrifice instead of Ismaeel. That tells us that in every difficult situation, Allah does not abandon his people; the believers, those that fear God and those that keep their promises. If we make a promise, we should endeavour to fulfill it. This relates to all our leaders in Nigeria, when you are campaigning, they make promises. Whatever they promised during the electioneering campaign, they should make sure they fulfill it because almighty Allah is watching them. Individuals too are not left out; we must be honest to ourselves and to almighty Allah.

Alhaji Tunde Badmus

Alhaji Tunde Badmus

Nigeria’s economy is on recession what do you thing is responsible for this?

If we appraise the economic situation of the country, we will thank God because we are very lucky in Nigeria to have President Muhammadu Buhari. If the March 24, 2015 presidential election had turned otherwise, only God knows where we would be today. Don’t forget that the recession had started many years back but we did not feel it impact much because of the high price of oil in the international market. At that time, Nigeria was producing two-point-something million barrels of oil per day, the avengers or whatever they called themselves were also stealing the oil and exporting it. Nigeria was losing one quarter of her daily income on oil to the oil thieves. Over 400, 000 barrels of crude oil were being stolen per day. Nobody was ready to arrest or caution them then. Now, there is a new government headed by President Buhari that is arresting the oil theft issue in the affected areas. In reaction to that, what we see is some people calling themselves avengers, blocking the main source of income of the country by blowing up pipelines. We should not also forget that the price of oil has gone down drastically. We know what is happening in other countries that depend on oil like Nigeria. That is why I said we are very lucky to have President Muhammadu Buhari because he has been managing the situation carefully. If other party were to be in power now, may be things would have been worse than this.

But the other party does not believe in your submission; they believe that whatever the situation, President Buhari should have fixed the economic crisis. What do you see to that?

Economic problem is not what you fix in a short time. If you are earning N20 million on daily basis before, and suddenly it dropped to N8 million, what will you do? When the other party was in power and oil was sold at higher price at the international market, how much was saved? What was the money generated from crude oil used for? Former minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala had announced publicly that one quarter of Nigerian revenue went to the people stealing Nigerian oil and they were not arrested. But President Buhari’s administration came and stopped that corrupt practices. This set of people has been in the bunkery business for many years without being challenged. When the present government made move to stop them, those oil thieves took to arm, blowing up pipelines. Don’t forget that this same set of people were the one that the previous government awarded security of the pipelines contract to. The people that are stealing the oil are the same set of people given the contract of securing the pipelines. I am not the publicity secretary of anybody, but these are fact that everybody must review on the economy of the country. How would you award security of pipeline to the same people stealing our oil?

As an industrialist, what would you suggest as solution to the economic recession?

Alhaji Tunde Badmus

Alhaji Tunde Badmus

The best solution is to look inward. Our financial system is not okay. The banks are not interested in the real sector, which is agriculture. If the banks had shown interest in the real sector from beginning, our economy would have been for long diversified. Everything we eat, wear or have as materials are from agriculture. Besides the electronics, every other thing that human beings use are related to agriculture. Unless we go back to agriculture, Nigeria’s economy would not be strong. Look at the rice issue, I am sure in the next few months, the price of rice will fall. Rice plantation and production are improving in the northern part of the country. By the time other states go into rice farming and production fully, the price of rice will fall. Soon, local rice will take-over the market. Fixing the economy will take time; it is not something you do in a day. We have about three sectors in agric: we have the arable crops, the lives stocks and the tree crops. The three crops take about four-five years before yielding income. The arable one is about a year. The lives stocks is also into segment: there are some that are five years, some are three months while some are six months. All these things need time to go through. The government needs the support of everyone of us; if we don’t support the government to succeed, are we going to work against the government to fail? Nigeria is our country and we must pray for the success of the president directing the affairs of the country. Most of the people that are criticizing this government are not in the real sector of the economy. It is some of us that are in the real sector of the economy that knows what it takes to be a producer and play along with the economic situation.

Do you support the call of restructuring?

I believe we are one; we need to coexist among ourselves. What are we restructuring? It is all over the world, even as we are sitting down here, we always try to outsmart one another. By the time the president comes from South-South, they will outmaneuver other regions. When the President comes from the North, they will also outsmart other religion. That is how it will go on and on. We need to understand ourselves and move forward. What are we restructuring? We have been together for over 100 years, is it now that will want to separate? Where are we going to? We should continue the Cohabitation.

 

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