The right economic model in bad shape – Tribune Letters

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road signs, economy, Nigeria, October 1: third force, economic

Life up here in northern Nigeria, especially at this pre-election time can be frustrating indeed if one wakes up each morning and comes across folks who would not see progress from a positive macroeconomic point-of-view but would rather have their preferred candidate continue as president even if a bag of rice still hovers at around N19, 000, a long shot from a low of about N8, 000 formerly. I must first begin by admitting that I am a CNN, BBC, Fox, etc., news channels addict if you present me with an opportunity and a downtime, especially when I am cooped up in my hotel room in one of my numerous travels to Zaria. What I have learnt from these news outlets’ business segments is that the economic wellbeing of nations, and indeed the physiological wellbeing of its citizens, are measured by the activities of big-investment direction-locators like the banking giants in the shape of BNP Paribas, UBS, HSBC, etc., because these are the facilitators of economic growth.

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However, when investment banks like UBS and HSBC begin to exit a country then the economic prospects are dire over there. Nigerians must be bold to tell President Muhammadu Buhari that there is nothing like a workable oil-money economy that is based solely on selling crude oil and then letting a few profiteers benefit solely from our national wealth. Now, the lack of enabling environments and the resort to veiled threats, heavy taxation, and spurious fines have put many of these foreign investors on edge thereby causing some to exit the Nigerian market. This should begin to cause great consternation as we prepare to elect a new president next year. It is a private sector-driven economy that can create jobs and lift Nigerians out of poverty. The command-and-control, centralised economy that President Buhari adores so much would only assure the population of the perpetuation of stagnation like we have come to know it. Nigerians must not be afraid to ask to change the existing order if it is not working.

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Sunday Adole Jonah, Minna

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