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The National Coordinator, Coalition of Northern Group, Comrade Jamilu Aliyu Charachi in this interview with Champion newspaper’s correspondent, ODUNITAN AYENI analyse how Economy of Nigeria has faired in the last 7 years of the present Administration, as Nigeria celebrate 62nd Independence Anniversary.
Can we meet you?
My name is Comrade Jamilu Aliyu, the National Coordinator, Coalition of Northern Group, (CNG).
As a citizen of Nigeria, how will you discribe this Administration’s performance in the last seven years?
Well, in a simple term, the Buhari Administration is the one that almost inspired Nigerians that the country will be turned to edorado, but it is very unfortunate that we find ourselves in a serious to an extent that I can tell you clearly that since Amagarmation of Nigeria in 1914, I doubt much if we had any Administration that squandered and looted the treasury of this country. It is an Administration we are experiencing a serious insecurity treat to an extent that most of our forests, most of the high ways and even the rail ways can not be access peacefully and in harmony by Nigerians. It is also an Administration that we had so much hope on, the one we spent much on, an Administration that people contributed tirelessly, financially, physically, economically and by whatever means to ensure its coming, but it is quite unfortunate that the Administration has failed Nigerians.
In fact, I can tell you that this is worse Administration that Nigeria has ever witnessed in the history of Nigeria politics.
This Government believe that they have done well in the area of economy and that GDP of this country is a something to be reckoned with in Africa, so how will you adjudge this?
Well, actually, I don’t know how Government is even relating the economy of this country, to me, the economy is something that, when I realized much more bigger than my daily activities or than my daily spending or my daily needs, then I believe that my economy is stronger, but when I can not overcome my daily needs, that means my economy is poor. I can tell you that most of Nigerians are living below $1, not even $1, go to the street of Abuja, you will see so many begers there or go to street of any States in this country, you will see so many people roaming around beging and this has to do with insecurity every where in the country particularly in the Northern part of the country. The reason is that people can no longer access their farms, they can no longer do their normal cattle rearing, they can not even do a small scale businesses that can take them to a villages and other areas that they can be getting N1 or N2 per day, so people are absolutely in poverty and we are witnessing an abject of poverty in this country. And even if we are talking about Nigeria’s GDP, let us go and access other things to confront the standard economy of the country. What is the daily earning of Nigerians and in fact, how much is this Government borrowing from other places either internal or external borrow and whatever borrow they made and how much is Government servicing the debt? In fact, in Q1 of this year, the amount of money Government is using in servicing the debt is even greater than income of the country, which means that economy is very poor.
How will you now relate this to the food crisis situation in this country and average Nigerians can not just access their daily bread anymore due to the fact that Agricultural sector seemed can no longer produce for his citizen?
Well, Agricultural sector can not produce anything for anybody in this country, because any country where they want to raise food security, what Government should do is that they should provide subsidy for Agricultural input, that is what to use to produce in their farm land. Do we even have an Agriculture subsidy in this country? How much are we buying fertilizer per bag, whatever type of fertilizer? How much is the cost of farm implements? The Harrowers, Plowers and other things, how many people are into farming business? The Government is only trying to tribalise the assisting of the Farmers but, the reality is people are no longer engage in Agriculture, because how many people can even sacrifice their life and go to the forest to do Farm activities? Let me tell you vividly clearly, if you have for instance a survey of over 2% of total land of Nigeria is been taking by the people on Agriculture and other things, out of total percent of the land we have for Agricultural industry and other things, 1% is taking by encroachment and over 1% percent is taking by bandit that people can not access the forest. Most Farmers we have in this country are peasant Farmer, peasant Farmer is a Cutlass and Hoes Farmer that they can only farm what they eat and I doubt much if they can farm what they may eat through out that year, they can not do it, and those peasant Farmer are now migrating from Rural Areas to Urban Area as a result of insecurity.
You mentioned subsidy on farm inputs, how will you link this with the economy of this country with the fact that Citizens no longer get fuel for their cars at affordable rate?
Well, an increase of N1 in Petroleum price in this country is equivalent to increase on food Commodities. If you increase N1 Petroleum Product, automatically bear it at the back of your mind that you are increasing the amount of money on all Commodities in all part of the country. if you are increasing the fuel, automatically the economy of people is coming down and automatically you are increasing the suffering of Nigerians and that is why as a result of increasing Petroleum prices many Nigerians are suffering. Now consider how much we are buying diesel per litter and most Farmers that are using truck, some vehicles use diesel engine to transport their farm products or Agricultural Commodities from Rural Areas to market places. So, definitely there must be an increament in every sector of the Nigeria Economy. That is why the suffering is increasing gradually.
What is your advice to the Federal Government as we celebrate this year’s Nigeria 62nd Independent Anniversary?
To me Nigerians don’t have anything to celebrate rather Federal Government should organise prayers in Mosques, Churches and other worshipping places at least, so that we can pray for this country Nigeria and not only to pray for this Administration, because as far as I am corncerned, this Administration is s almost winding up, but let pray for God’s intervention in new Administration we are hoping to have in this country.
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