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Open letter to Baba Buhari on the need to avert Nigeria from going into depression 

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President Muhammad Buhari
By Abba Dukawa
Officially Nigeria has entered its second recession in five years as official figures published on Saturday show that the economy shrank again in the third quarter of this year. The National Bureau of Statistics, in its Gross Domestic Product report for Q3, said the GDP, the broadest measure of economic prosperity, fell by 3.62 in the three months to September.
Last month, the World Bank revised its 2020 forecast for Nigeria’s economy to -4.1 per cent from its previous projection of -3.2 per cent, saying the country’s near-term outlook was subject to “considerable uncertainty”. The Global bank had said in June that the collapse in crude oil prices, was expected to “plunge the Nigerian economy into a severe recession, the worst since the 1980s coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately within three years Nigeria experience two recessions because   Covid 19 has puts global economics in uncertainty again, Nigeria’s economy is being caught in the cross-hairs.   Above all, Nigeria must stop borrowing.    Now is not the time to trade blames but to focus on ways to manage the situation and need for administration to “swallow its pride, and accept its limitations, so that they can open their minds to ideas, without caring who the messenger is.
The recession could have been avoided if administration had been   listened to nation’s economist and other concerns Nigerians advise during first recession.  the recession could have been avoided if administration   diversifying  the economy  as  Federal government to develop the country untapped mineral. Despite this huge opportunity still domestic mining industry is underdeveloped, leading to Nigeria having to import minerals that it could produce domestically.
The provocative policies of the previous  and present administration over dependence on oil resources as a source of foreign exchange earnings to the detriment of agriculture also puts pressure on the nation source of foreign income.
Lack of clear economic policies contributed for the country to experience two recession and the  recession could have been avoided if administration diversifying  the economy  by  formulating  policy toward developing  the country untapped mineral.
The recession could have been avoided if administration had cut down on the cost of governance during first recession ,  listened to nation’s economist and other concerns Nigerians advise.
There is no denying the fact that the country is currently facing a financial crisis. However, a depression is least likely in the Nigerian situation, as experts predict that most countries will come out of the current crisis by 2021 and at most by 2022.
On the optimistic side of things, if the government does the needful in bailing out industries, if oil prices keep rising in view of budget cuts.Let  the executive and legislative arms  expunged non conventional allowances, estacodes, welfare packages, and new vehicle purchases   from the proposed 2021 budget. if the government further diversifies the economy and also implements the Orosanye report or at least a better modified version of it, then the recession might be short lived.
Almost 6 years on  the record presented by global body  Transparency International on the country’s perceived corruption outlook.  From  2015 till date Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) still gave Nigeria a low ranking out of 180 countries surveyed. The  reports are clear   reflection of neither improvement nor retrogression to that of year after year where marginal improvement was recorded. This, therefore, elicits curiosity on what the missing link is between the efforts of the government against the graft and public what the perception is.
At the same time   President Muhammadu Buhari last week Friday received the final report of the Justice Ayo Salami-led probe panel on alleged infractions by the suspended Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),  Magu was allegedly accused of corruption, mismanagement, lack of transparency in managing recovered assets by the Commission as well as abuse of office by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.  Already there is another heart breaking  investigation reports published by online medium Premium Times revealed  how Fashola’s ministry illegally paid ₦4.6BN into officials‘ personal accounts. It is clear violation of extant law.  Payment of payments of monies into private  account is clearly  violates chapter 7, section 701 of the financial regulation of the country. Section 713 of the same chapter also says under no condition should personal money be paid into the government’s bank account “nor shall any public money be paid into a private bank account.  Even though Ministries and  Agencies are compelled by the provision “to operate only three bank accounts as follows: salary account, overhead cost account and revenue account” as “no other bank account shall be allowed without the express approval of the Accountant-General.
It was under the watchful of our once  fearful General Muhammadu Buhari the level of corruption in Nigeria has reached a  height whereby it can only be curbed when these agencies rise up to the occasion to prosecute  offenders  irrespective of their political affiliations. Henceforth fighting corruption proved too difficult for the administration to achieve.  Therefore Nigerians are alienated, angry and fed up but in real sense the corruption is fighting back  as there is not much  pointer supporting the administration efforts in its fight. Unfortunately, the anti-corruption  agencies are more like toothless dogs that can only bark but cannot bite.
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Ear shoot
Five years into the present administration, still  northern peoples are appear helpless in finding solutions to insecurity as well as poverty in the North.  The situation is getting worse literally day by day. Bandits and insurgents appear to sense a huge vacuum in  capacity which they exploit with disastrous consequences on communities and individuals.  It  appear that both federal and state governments have lost control over protecting people , a constitutional duty that they swore to uphold.
Dukawa, public affairs commentator, writes from Kano . Can be reached at abbahydukawa@gmail.com.

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