Many Nigerians have continued to respond to the declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari that Nigeria is broke and facing the worst economic recession.
President Buhari in a widely reported radio, television, and print media interview had painted a gloomy picture of the economy, saying the fact that many state governments could not pay their workers’ salaries underscored how grave the situation was.
While some are sympathetic with the President in their responses, others have argued that lamentation is not the solution to the problem, especially as oil price remains low in the global market.
One of them, in response to the story of declaration made by President Buhari, is the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Archdiocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, in an exclusive interview granted to the Good Shepherd editorial team in Abuja recently, said “Buhari will make a difference surely. May God continue to bless him... Nigeria will be great again in the comity of Nations. God bless Nigeria.”
Bishop Badejo who was responding to questions raised on why Nigerians are suffering advised President Buhari to rise to the challenge. “Buhari should stop waiting for Manna to fall from heaven. It is the duty of the government to generate funds. It is obvious that he does not have the capacity to do that. Until now, this administration does not have any economic agenda. How do you expect local and foreign ventures to invest in a nation when they have no clue on its fiscal policy?”
He noted that Nigeria was entitled to help from other countries. He said “How do you expect to have foreign investors when President Buhari goes about telling the whole world that Nigeria is synonymous with corruption?”
“But before now, Nigeria used to help countries like Haiti and some African countries. Why is (Nigeria) suddenly broke? Revenue oil is enough to take care of Nigeria’s problem, but our past leaders should be held responsible for all the woes. I hope this excuse will not hinder promises made to Nigerians”, he added.
The clergy man said that Nigerians knew this would happen. “We know looters, commercial kidnappers, herdsmen, murderers, cultists, suicide bombers, and other devilish people will not sleep. They will keep busy planning how to evade justice. I have a good message for such evil doers that their days are gone forever. They have been defeated and crushed forever. Nigeria is now a country guided by God through good leaders. Progress, prosperity, peace and tranquility will reign in Nigeria forever and ever”.
He urged the President to think in the direction of what he called a modern economy. “In order to create industries and jobs, you must look inwards and trust Nigerians, not foreigners.
“The Federal Government has to create the enabling environment because nobody would come in to invest with all the menace of the Boko Haram, herdsmen killings, kidnapping and other security challenges. Once the proper things are done, they would help bolster the economy. Government also has to work hard to take us out of the mono-economy situation”, he said.
The Catholic Bishop however, called for a total re-engineering of the economy, but he believes no nation is an island unto itself. Unless the economic structure was overhauled, the country would continue to wallow in poverty.