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Save Nigeria from sinking further from bottom to the bottomless pit, Melaye urges Nigerians



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**Tells Buhari, the country has collapsed under his watch

Senator who represented Kogi West in the 8th senate and partly 9th senate, Dino Melaye has asked Nigerians to save their country from tipping over from bottom to the bottomless pit.

In a message to President Muhammadu Buhari he indicated that it is so ridiculously bad that the Commander in Chief is now the target in chief of bandits and kidnappers. 

Describing the scenario as a repulsive and revulsive melodrama he quoted the classic Nigerian Songstar, Asa, who on the 19th day of July 2022 during the NNPC re-launch rendered her contextual song *“there is fire on the Mountain and nobody seems to be on the run”* . 

In a statement he personally signed and made available to the NationalUpdate on Friday, he said the song was a direct message that if as usual President Buhari is ‘not aware’, that all is not well in Nigeria, the country over which he is the Commander-in-Chief then he should know that,

“His administration has successfully turned Nigeria into an unenviable poverty capital of the world, where over 82.9 million once-thriving Nigerians can no longer afford their daily meals and other necessities of life. Millions of Nigerians now wish they were never born as Nigerians. 

“To my fellow Nigerians, this is no longer business as usual. Nigeria is heading for a seemingly irredeemable precipice under this administration. 

We need to speak up now before our National patrimony and collective wealth will be extinguished under this administration. 

“Nigerians will remember vividly when this administration during its campaign made the statement “ from Top to Bottom” most Nigerians laughed in amusement, thinking it was just one of those campaign slogans. “Little did we know it was a clear declaration of how our economy would be ruined from Top to Bottom. According to him, the President has succeeded in taking the economy of this country from top to bottom. “Nigeria’s once robust economy handed over to the President by the last administration in 2015 is in a state of anomie today. Nigeria’s once robust economy has been wrecked and ruined, resulting in unbearable hardship, hunger, hopelessness,  starvation, strange sicknesses, suicide and  and sslavery.”

According to him, President  Buhari’s administration is a colossal failure and bedevilled with so many contradictions. 

“The administration failed in every sector of our national life. This is the administration that made sweeping and salivating promises to the Nigerian populace, promising tantalising dividends the country stands to gain through its leadership particularly on the fight against corruption, economy, security, democracy as well as national unity and cohesion.”

He said Nigeria is experiencing a comatose economy, a corrupt and dysfunctional politics, a fractured society, a broken nation beset by widespread poverty, debilitating insecurity and, inevitably, massive distrust of government. 

“We watched with dismay and utter disgust the gradual and total collapse of almost every fabric of governance in Nigeria. *From Top to Bottom Ibdeed!* 

Melaye pointed out that unconscionably the President still feels his administration is doing so well that he rolled out the drums to celebrate his seventh anniversary on 29th May. 

“In a 28-page document, published on May 28, the presidency reeled out  self-acclaimed  achievements, covering legislative reform, infrastructure and agriculture. 

“For the avoidance of doubt and for the purpose of clarity, how has the economy performed under this administration? Mr. President needs to remark his own script, to see what he has turned Nigeria into in this past  agonising and dehumanising years of his administration:

“Our debt crisis manifests in our fiscal cliff as we now spend all of our revenue servicing debts. Nigeria’s statistical figures recently showed that we now spend over 100% of our revenue to service debts. 

“This past quarter, we spent N1.94 trillion servicing debts, while our revenue was less than that figure by N300 billion, at N1.63 trillion. This is ridiculous. 

“So, the questions we Nigerians are asking is where will we find money to fulfil other obligations? We can no longer depend on our crude oil because, it has finally become a liability, as our proceeds from crude get cancelled out by our import of petrol, Nigeria is now stuck for ways to fund herself.

“Also, our debt stock is about N41 Trillion, or close to $100 billion. This is about a quarter of our GDP. But when we add government borrowing from people’s pensions, the borrowing that was used in intervening in the bad bank, AMCON, and the Federal Government’s exposure to the Central Bank of Nigeria, perhaps we are looking at least another N35 to N40 Trillion, taking our debt to GDP ratio to over 50%. 

“Of course debt to GDP is a meaningless index. What about debt to revenue? That is where we find that our economy has really cascaded from prosperity to poverty on fulfillment of the unavowed determination of the President to bring the economy from fame to shame and from top to bottom. 

He indicated that the naira value is becoming uncontrollable just as the foreign exchange market continues to witness supply shortage to meet its demand. 

“A gap of at least N250 has emerged between the official rate and the more-accessible ‘parallel market’ rate. As of today, the exchange rate is N710 per US$1 dollar, and the devastating effect of same on economy of our nation cannot even be fathomed. 

“It has become one of Nigerian’s worst nightmares because the exchange rate is tied to inflation and perception. It is a pheno”menon that feeds on itself and leads to a spiral because Nigeria is still largely an import economy, we produce nothing apart from agricultural items which we sell raw.

”    Inflation is at 18.6% and the Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has raised the benchmark rate by 100 basis points (1%) in the last two consecutive meetings. Even though rates are being raised, which should theoretically slow down inflation, the opposite has been the case. The higher the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), the higher the inflation.

“Nigeria is stuck in a perpetual trap of low productivity. Nigeria today is producing little or nothing. This administration failed to encourage or provide the atmosphere to increase production. And it is glaring when we analyse our exports against our imports. 

“This situation has gotten worst under this administration. We are locked into a situation where we only grow crops and sell them yearly without adding appropriate value for export. Yet we attract  the most sophisticated imports from the world.”

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Economic downturn: Fasua, other experts, say, Nigeria needs home grown solutions




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The Special Adviser to the Vice President, Kashim Shettima on Economic Affairs, Tope Fasua, has indicated that Nigeria has all what is needed to overcome all of its current economic challenges given the country’s abundant human and natural resources.
Fasua spoke on Thursday at a colloquium organized in his honour to mark his 52nd birthday anniversary in Abuja.
He said all that the country needs is for it to unlock its full potentials by developing its own “home grown solutions”, and taking advantage of the limitless opportunities that abound in the country to address its needs especially in the short run.
“All I see are Opportunities for development. I do not like to see the economy from the position of its challenges. I see only opportunities and prospects. This economy has not even started yet, hopefully it will start to grow with this administration
Speaking further, he advised that while the country steps up its fight against corruption, the country must not lose sight of the need to grow its economy, pointing out that this can be better achieved by looking more inwardly instead of relying on foreign interventions.
He said Nigeria can start by ramping up production which will then attract more Foreign investment Investments and ultimately create job opportunities, rake in foreign exchange and strengthen the Naira.
Speaking to Journalists on the sidelines, Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dasuki Arabi shared similar sentiments with Fasua on the need for government to look inward for answers to Nigeria’s economic challenges.
He noted that President Bola Tinubu had in his inaugural speech set the pace with a clear roadmap towards economic recovery and that with people like Fasua having opportunity to work closely with him, Nigeria will in no time bounce back.

“We are happy he has a place in this government, as I said it we cannot get outsiders to do it for us it has to be a home grown solution to the problem that we are facing and we have a president that is giving people the space to address the challenges and problems facing this country.
“If you look at his inaugural speech he spoke about value addition improvement in foreign exchange earnings
“Most especially that message of saying use what we produce what we eat that will reduce our demand for foreign dependency on import and we look inwards to solving our problem.”
In his goodwill message, former Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside said the major ingredient needed to jumpstart the Nigerian economy is quality leadership which he said is embodied in the current administration.
Five books authored by Tope Fasua were also presented at the intellectual discourse with many of them providing answers to Nigeria’s economic challenges.
The event had in attendance a crème of other prominent economic experts and policy matters.

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Amb Oluwafemi hails Tinubu on diplomatic shuttle that halted UAE-Nigeria Visa Impasse




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***Says billions in investments anticipated as arilines resumes

***Hails Aviation minister, Keyamo for being proactive over the issue

President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s diplomatic moves that resolved the consular and economic relations with President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi, is a masterstroke that will usher billions of investments in to the country, the CEO of the Africa Development Study Centre (ADSC), Ambassador Victor Walsh Oluwafemi has indicated.

To start with he said, the move he said resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerians.
Recall that the impasse was very much in force before President Tinubu emerged as the Nigerian number one citizen last May.

Ambassador Victor Oluwafemi who is a seasoned management consultant of continental level applauded the president on the landmark in a statement he personally signed on Tuesday.

He explained that the development which banned Nigerian travelers nine months ago took a new twist after President Tinubu met with the UAE leader and this has led to the immediate resumption of flight schedules for both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines into and out of Nigeria which is welcoming and salutary.

Mainly Instructive in his view is adding momentum to his drive to give greater investment opportunities to Nigerians at home and the diaspora.

He reiterated that President Tinubu is the first Nigerian Politician that has deliberately prepared himself for authentic leadership because of his uncommon supports for the Nigerian people since assumption of office particularly in foreign policy interventions and domestic governance ecosystem in the last 100 days.

According to him, the significant gesture in boosting Nigeria-UAE cooperation economically and geopolitically is second to none in the political history of Nigeria.

He stated that an economically stronger Nigeria would certainly help augment both the scope and level of cooperation between Nigeria and the UAE. The trade volume between the two sides will increase beyond our imagination.

He, therefore, appealed to other political parties and strategic stakeholders in the Nigerian project to engage with the Tinubu led administration to chart a pathway to national building efforts for shared prosperity particularly from the several billions of U.S. dollars’ worth of foreign direct Investments and new trade portfolios into the Nigerian economy across different sectors which is a sweet smelling savour for a new national rebirth.

Ambassador Oluwafemi also hailed Aviation minister, Festus keyamo, SAN for being proactive over the UAE debacle.

He said: “Within such a short period the aviation minister has proven to Nigerians that his administrative capabilities are not in doubt.

“Definitely the UAE issue was acidic but Keyamo pulled it through barely three weeks in office as minister.

“His moves at the airports particularly in the major gateways of our country are laudable,”.

Victor, who’s also the President of the African Air Passengers Rigth Association (APRASS) and a UAE resident, thanks the UAE President for resolving the issues swiftly and the Minister of Aviation for being proactive on this issue and the airport relocation.

He commended him and advised the association should be involved in the ministry’s activities especially the current committee that was set up because the airline users are the major stakeholders in all activities concerning the airport and the airlines.

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Kogi, China finalise bilateral relationship in transport infrastructure




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*** The partnership promises to make the State an industrial hub

The Kogi State Government and the Chinese Construction giant, CCECC have entered in to an accord that will bolster business relationships in the areas of planning, financing and execution of transport infrastructure in the state.

The meeting took at the headquarters of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation along Airport Road, Abuja on Thursday
The Executive Officer of the Kogi State Investment Promotion and Public Private Partnership Agency, Abdulkareem Siyaka who led the government’s delegation disclosed that the first line of business upscaling and partnership is the construction of Inland Transit Port in Lokoja to link Warri – Burutu/Port Harcourt via Onitsha.

This he said will rapidly develop the movement of agricultural produce and solid mineral cargo to and from northern and southern Nigeria.
He said the partnership was in line with the Kogi State’s medium-term economic development goals which within a 5-year time frame will want to rapidly develop her infrastructure outlay, citing transport infrastructure as the bedrock of economic development.
While interacting with newsmen at the end of their meeting, Abdulkareem said the upgrade of Adogo Airstrip to a commercial Cargo Airport to facilitate growth in cross-border trade and investment and boost real sector productivity was discussed.
Another infrastructure to be executed under the partnership is the construction of Electrified Rail Project between Jeba and Lokoj.
This will reduce haulage costs within Nigeria by freeing excess pressure on road transport infrastructure.
Speaking on the business models, Abdulkareem stated that Kogi State is in the process of building its economy from a conservative civil service state to an Industrial giant in northern Nigeria.
He said the ‘Build -Operate-Transfer’ model or similar model that will be economical for both parties would be ideal while involving the Federal Government to provide sovereign guarantees including counterpart funding in any or all the projects.
On his part, the Deputy Managing Director of CCECC, Guo Wenjun commended the state government for its vision while expressing readiness for the relationship.
He noted that the Kogi State Government has been a friendly business partner of CCECC over the years with mutual understanding and benefits.

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