You can’t run Nigeria’s economy on palliatives, Sowunmi blasts FG

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A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Segun Sowunmi, has slammed the Federal Government for “running the economy on palliatives” since the removal of petrol subsidy some eight months ago.

Sowunmi, who appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Monday, urged President Bola Tinubu’s administration to begin increasing worker salaries immediately.

With 28.92% inflation rate, 33.93% food Inflation, 18.75% interest rate, over 133 million multidimensionally poor Nigerians, 33.3% unemployment rate, Naira exchange rate at over N1400/US$ in the parallel market, price per litre of petrol at over N600, and many more, Nigerians have not had it this tough economically.

Sowunmi lamented that the naira is going down and those saddled with fiscal responsibilities don’t know how to stabilise 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).

Instead, 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 organisations such as the World Bank and IMF can be giving me pass marks. I am not interested; I am interested in building an economy that is resilience, serves the poor people of Nigerian and give them the opportunity 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.”

Sowunmi feared that Tinubu might lose the economy though it is his strong point, urging the President to prioritise economic stability and country-wide prosperity beyond enriching a few corrupt persons.