Recession: Cut Down On Presidential Opulence, Senator Tells Buhari | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Recession: Cut Down On Presidential Opulence, Senator Tells Buhari

recession, buhari, FG, budget
Posted: Sep 7, 2016 at 7:27 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Rotimi Akinwumi



President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to lead by example as the nation grapples with the pains of economic recession by ensuring that presidential opulence, especially as enjoyed by his aides and ministers, is cut down drastically.

Doing this, the president was told, will show Nigerians that he’s attuned with their pains while the search for easiest way out of the crisis continues.

Solomon Adeola, senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District, who made the call on Tuesday, also insisted that it has become imperative for the government to ensure that urgent and persistent measures are taken to address the recession and its challenges.

Senator Adeola made the observation in a statement signed on his behalf by his Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro.

The senator, who is the vice chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, said it is worrisome that the lifestyle of presidential aides and ministers has not reflected the moves being made by government to take the nation out of the economic doldrums.

He also expressed regrets that so far the economic team of the government particularly the finance and budget and planning ministers, the director general of Budget Office and the CBN governor appeared lackadaisical in their approach to what is ordinarily an economic emergency, adding that he would have expected the team to be dishing out policy options and direction in forms of palliative for the poor, bail out/loans for distressed organisations like Innoson Motors and airlines in dire straits.

“As we confront the unpalatable recession one is worried to see unelected ministers of government go about in convoys of SUVs with a horde of assistants and security aides as if the recession is just a word that has no effect on their lives and ways of doing things while we elected representatives are daily confronted by helpless constituents who look up to us for solutions to their economic challenges.

“This period calls for austere lifestyles and cutting of recurrent expenditure of government at all levels to free funds for interventionist palliatives for the people and organisations that provide jobs for the people as well as diversification of the revenue base of the government,” he stated.

Senator Adeola, who stopped short of calling for the sack of the economic team, lamented that with the World Bank and other international development agencies putting the number of our poor at about 70 million when dollar exchanged for N150 before the recession, the number of those living below poverty line may now be approaching over 100 million, adding that the economic team must realise that an enormous responsibility rests on their shoulders to provide palliatives and rescue millions from extreme poverty.

He lamented that government at all levels are not treating the issue of recession with the urgency it requires to ensure that its duration is not unduly prolonged with untold suffering and even deaths for majority of our people.

While acknowledging that the recession at this time is not peculiar to Nigeria, Senator Adeola said that the difference here is that not much is being done to assure the people that government is on top of the situation in terms of marshaling out implementable policies to address the plight of groups that are hardest hit by the continuing recession.

“I must say that one is yet to see any urgency in providing palliatives for the poor and collapsing industries and other corporate bodies leading to serious job losses and a growing sense of despair among the general population.

“Experience in the past shows that one of the most reliable ways to tackle recession is to spend money on productive sectors as well as welfarist spending to put money in the pockets of the poor”, the senator asserted.