Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain Segun Sowunmi has taken aim at the Federal Government, stating that after the petrol subsidy was removed a few months ago, Nigeria could not be “running the nation’s economy on palliatives.”
Sowunmi stated this in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday.
The PDP chieftain called on President Bola Tinubu’s administration to increase workers’ salaries in earnest.
According to reports, over 133 million Nigerians are multidimensionally poor; with 33.3% unemployment rate; Naira exchange rate at over N1400/US$ in the parallel market; petrol at over N600 per litre; and 28.92% inflation rate, 33.93% food Inflation, 18.75% interest rate, among others.
Sowunmi lamented that the naira is going down and those saddled with fiscal responsibilities don’t know how to stabilize the currency which he said is now “a joke” even to those spending Cefas in francophone West Africa.
He argued that the Nigerian economy should not be built for impressive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and stock exchange figures or for the applause of global rating bodies like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The PDP chieftain said the Nigerian economy should be built for common Nigerians who are struggling to survive, many of whom don’t know where their next meal would come from.
He said, “On the economy, he (Tinubu) needs to let people understand, especially Wale Edun, (Yemi) Cardoso, and all of them, he (Tinubu) needs to let them understand that;
“…I am not trying to build an economy solely for GDP so that Bretton Woods organizations such as the World Bank and IMF can be giving me pass marks. I am not interested; I am interested in building a resilient economy, serves the poor people of Nigerians and allows them to live the type of life that the Renewed Hope is supposed to be.
“Let me tell you what would have happened if he had increased salaries of civil servants, they have been getting that increased salaries in a sustained manner, private sector would have followed up to keep their workforce, that money would have gone back into the market and you would have seen the economy growing.
“You can’t run a big economy on palliatives, especially when you are running the palliatives on wholesales and not retail.”
In spite of his strength in the economy, Sowunmi warned Tinubu that economic stability and national prosperity should take precedence over the enrichment of a few corrupt individuals.
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