What Nigerians expect from Buhari’s U.S. trip —Nigerians United for Democracy

Posted by News Express | 18 July 2015 | 3,603 times

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The good people of Nigeria, under the auspices of Nigerians United for Democracy, a coalition of pro-democracy groups and CSOs converged on Lagos at a one-day Roundtable to review the state of our dear nation and to set Priority-Agenda on issues considered pertinent and, strategic remedies to the nation’s lingering socio-economic and political challenges.

As it was contained in our publicly released communiqué of the forum, Nigerians remain guided by your Excellency’s Covenant with the nation which pledged that “every Nigerian deserves to benefit from the running of our collective resources. We promise not to leave any Nigerian behind in our determination to create, expand and ensure equitable and effective allocation of economic opportunities. No matter the amount of funds we generate, unless there is an efficient and effective utilisation, it will only create few billionaires. Unless we fight corruption, the economy will only benefit the greedy in our society.”

Accordingly, as you proceed on your historic meeting with the President of the United States of America and other relevant interest bodies in the U.S., some resolutions of the forum are very pertinent for your consideration and guidance as negotiations are undertaken and agreement reached with multilateral bodies and business interests during the trip. The forum had resolved as follows:

A careful but strategic review and management of the fuel subsidy regime, through the application of realistic fiscal, monetary and economic policies that will ensure judicious management of the dollar earnings of Nigeria’s oil revenue is imminent. A review of the functions of the CBN and NNPC and revamp of the refineries will be inevitable. Your government therefore should remain resolute in your refusal to pander to international conspiracy on the flagrant removal of subsidy, as proposed by Tony Blair and the International Monetary agencies.

Devaluation of Naira by the Central Bank will only further compound the rising cost importing fuel country and increase inflation, thereby increasing cost of leaving. Rather, it is the monetary policy of the Central Bank with reference to dollar earnings and conversion into Naira with printing of Naira to meet the conversion value without appropriate regulations that promotes liquidity and inflation;

World Bank and IMF loans are injurious to the country’s development and economic independence. Your government must avoid any attempt at being cajoled into obtaining any such loan by the G7 countries. Your critical examination of relevant and very significant past cases of corruption will help the country recover stolen public funds that would be very handy and useful for immediate economic stability. All that is essentially required is for the United States and others to walk their talks by helping to track and repatriate billions of dollars, launder into their countries by previous regimes.

In accordance with Section 16 of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) “the economy of Nigeria shall be controlled by government in the public interest. No group shall be allowed to take control of the Nigerian economy,” it is pertinent to remind you that Nigerians expect your government to take charge of the economy for public interest and not concession to individuals or group of individuals.

Partnerships and business agreements are therefore expected to pursue economic development agenda that explores alternative economic models that pays higher premium on human capital development, industrialisation, local content development and respect for host communities.

Nigerians are indeed optimistic that if these four issues are effectively addressed, a strong and sustainable foundation and launch-pad for the actualisation of Your Excellency’s “Covenant” with the good people of Nigeria would have been built.

Nigerians anticipate Your Excellency’s sensitiveness and responsiveness to their concerns. This is a periodic platform for the review and imputing of people’s positions in government policies and foreign partnerships.

While wishing a safe trip to the U.S., please accept the assurances of our esteem regards.

•Being text of an open letter to President Buhari dated July 16, 2015 signed by NUD’s Coordinator, South West Olanrewaju Suraju. Photo shows President Buhari.

Source: News Express

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