Wednesday, 19 October 2016

KALU WRITES BUHARI ...AGAINST SALE OF NATIONAL ASSETS


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Dr. Orji Kalu


I hope this letter finds you well and in good health.

Sir, I have chosen to write you this time around, rather than our one on one exchanges, for clarity of communication and presentation of my thoughts and anguish over the general state of affairs of the country and in particular, the state of our economy.

Your Excellency, the last 10 months have been a most difficult period for all Nigerians especially the unemployed and those at the bottom of the economic ladder. They constitute the majority of our people. The enthusiasm that spurred and greeted your emergence as President in 2015 had many expectations; and rightfully so, because Nigerians believe that you, the man Muhammadu Buhari had the sincerity of purpose and commitment to usher in a new Nigeria. Our people were not oblivious of the challenges that lay ahead of you and the time it would take to get Nigeria to that Promised Land. Indeed they were willing to be patient as long as that reassurance of a clear sense of direction, sacrifice and integrity of purpose, justice and equity remained the guiding principle of your leadership; the sign posts along this new direction that you proposed to Nigerians.


Mr. President, it saddens me to acknowledge, along with a great many of our fellow citizens, from East to West and North to South, that the current situation needs a drastic intervention of the federal government. The federal government must as a matter of urgency unveil its direction to the Nigerian people. She must define the nexus between the noble fight against corruption and their simple request for an economy that allows them to provide 3 square meals a day for their families, a roof over their heads, clean clothes on their back and security of their lives and property. This is all the people ask for.

Mr. President, I am without doubt of your integrity of purpose and your commitment to all the peoples of Nigeria. However Sir, the current strategy and approach to containing uncertainty in the land and alleviating poverty is leaving the people in the dark and their bank accounts in the red. Anxiety amongst our unemployed youth is on the upswing Sir, and we must make sure they do not lose hope.

Some have proposed the sale of performing National Assets and National Interests, I tend to differ with this thinking. While I agree we should not throw good money at a bad situation, we can agree that our current economic challenge has nothing to do with an over bloated balance sheet, where we must offload assets. It has everything to do with low productivity across practically every sector of our economy, brought about by a neglect of the economy and delayed action. I believe in big businesses and small government.

Our people applaud your fight against corruption but they also want an economy that will allow them to restore their human dignity as men and provider of their families.

Mr President, the time is now to change course. The capital to bridge the deficit in our budget, so that government can build infrastructure, and meet her social welfare responsibilities to the people can be sourced from the IMF: just like we have done with the ADB. The IMF condition of transparency and fiscal discipline are conditions your Excellency should embrace since truly it is the desire of this administration to roll back the recession. The very low cost of the IMF money and its long tenure will relieve the pressure on our economy. I urge your Excellency to consider seriously the waited pros of the IMF bail out. There are brilliant economists and international financial experts across the country that can assist your administration in structuring a win-win deal the IMF; we  both know who these men and women are.  Carpe Diem, seize the day Sir and make good on your promise to Nigerians. They are waiting patiently.

Mr. President, please be assured of my highest regards at all times.


Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, MON
Former Governor, Abia State

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