Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, Dumebi Kachikwu, has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, convene an emergency economic summit.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Kachikwu said the summit was urgent following the sudden plunge of the Naira and to further avert impending economic doom.
He said, “Our economy is in tatters while the managers of our economy fight over who informed who or who got Presidential approval. As the naira continues to plunge, more businesses will collapse this week. Thousands will be thrown into the employment market daily. This is our reality.
“We can’t continue to keep quiet while our President continues to pauperise us. I call on President Buhari to convene an emergency economic summit. We all need to get involved in this conversation.
“It is meaningless to keep on talking about the 2023 general election when our present realities suggest that we might not have a nation by that time. We can’t continue acting like we don’t know tens of millions of Nigerians are unemployed and impoverished.
“Their plight gets worse as our economy gets worse. When is the breaking point? The President can’t keep on saying he is fighting inflation yet in an import dependent economy small businesses are paying up to N5 million to clear a 20ft container and up to N9million for a 40ft container.”
Kachikwu groaned over the present administration’s “ill-timed policies,” saying that it was killing small businesses as well as discouraging Nigerians from contributing to the economy.
He said, “Who is advising our President? Inflation begins from your ports. This government is killing small businesses. If the President is serious about strengthening the naira, he should find out how many new export oriented businesses Nigerian banks funded in the last one year. He should find out how many new businesses Nigerian banks funded in the last 10 months. We can’t keep on deceiving ourselves.
“As if this is not bad enough the President continues to destroy the Nigerian economy with wrong and ill-timed policies that mostly benefit a few. Millions are daily thrown into the poverty bracket.
“Our middleclass has been wiped out as the dollar today exchanges for N800 and above. Diesel which powers most businesses and industries retails for around N900. A bag of local rice sells for N50,000 in some parts of Nigeria. A bag of Dangote cement retails for N4,100. Mind you cement is the building block for the construction industry and that same construction industry is a key driver of any economy.
“One begins to wonder if this government is deliberately trying to set a record of creating the greatest number of poor people in the shortest period possible. How do you explain timing of the re-design of the naira?
“The sensible thing to do is weigh the pros and cons before taking such a decision which has further weakened the naira. How many Nigerians actually store money in their homes as is being speculated? Do we further destroy the naira because of a few Nigerians? Why can’t our security agencies up their game, identify those who have been speculated to store billions in their homes and then use legal means to recover the money.
“By the way who says all money stored at home is ill-gotten wealth? There are those who simply don’t trust banks or don’t want to incur the extortionist bank charges imposed by some banks.”