US Visit: Buhari Under Pressure To Allow Cabal To Control Economy – Falana | Independent Newspapers Limited
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US Visit: Buhari Under Pressure To Allow Cabal To Control Economy – Falana

Posted: Jul 27, 2015 at 6:06 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Innocent Oweh, Abuja

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, on Monday, July 27, 2015, said President Muhammadu Buhari was under pressure by some political forces to tilt his economic policies under the control of a few hands.

Falana who was obviously reacting to Buhari’s recent state visit to the United States where some Nigerian businessmen and industrialist were allegedly turned down from having audience with President, said the development may have accounted for why the President has not been forthcoming with his economic agenda two months after his inauguration.

He said the President has been inundated with numerous suggestions on how to handle the nation’s cash cow, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC),especially on issues bothering on corruption against the agency, but noted that their argument clearly lacked merit.

“The national planning have been abandoned for market forces by those who control our country, and what is going on now, even from the APC, there are people that are mounting pressure on President Buhari to continue to run the economy of Nigeria in the interest of a few people and in the personal minority interest of captains of industry without industry.

“But I think the President answered them last week; you know their campaign now is that “you must remove fuel subsidy, you must devalue the currency, you must privatize NNPC of all institutions” and the President said “I am not going to privatize NNPC, I will break it into two for effective performance,” which I think is the best for our country”.

He also wrote off those accusing Buhari’s administration of lacking clear focus and direction, saying the new government has activated a constitutional provision which would ensure that all cases of corruption emanating from the anti-graft agencies would be dispensed with in the law court within a maximum of six months time frame.

The human right lawyer said government has a duty to cut cost of governance by first pruning the number of embassies in other countries.

“There’s an area that we need to develop now that the government is trying to cut cost. We have too many embassies all over the world. I got to a country in Africa recently and discover that the country has a population of about 300,000 and we have an embassy there.

“We have embassies in the 16 member state of West Africa and in all African countries. I think we have to do something about that,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, at the public presentation of the book, “Economic Diplomacy and Nigeria’s Foreign Policy” written by Musa Babayo said decades of talks on diversification of the economy from a mono-economy should now be translated into concrete actions.

According to Gambari, in the light of the new global realities and power configuration, there is an urgent need to bring together all major stakeholders to foster better economic management.

He said government must tackle headlong the current socio-economic challenges such as high poverty level, huge youth unemployment and perennial disconnect between the government and the citizens has invariably led to high levels of distrust on the leaders and the rest of the citizens.