***APC destroying economy with wrong, ill-timed policies- Kachukwu

The Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC)  Dumebi Kachukwu has likened the Nigerian economy to a torn piece of paper that will be damaged further by the planned redesigning of the Naira.

Kachukwu who spoke in Abuja on Monday said it is an ill timed policy which will further erode the value of the Nigerian currency against the American Dollar.

He pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to destroy the Nigerian economy with wrong and ill-timed policies that mostly benefit a few. 
“Millions are daily thrown into the poverty bracket. Our middle class has been wiped out as the dollar today exchanges for N800 and above. Diesel which powers most businesses and industries retails for around N900. A bag of local rice sells for N50,000 in some parts of Nigeria. 

“A bag of Dangote cement retails for N4100. Mind you cement is the building block for the construction industry and that same construction industry is a key driver of any economy. 

“One begins to wonder if this government is deliberately trying to set a record of creating the greatest number of poor people in the shortest period possible. 

“How do you explain the timing of the re-design of the naira? The sensible thing to do is weigh the pros and cons before taking such a decision which has further weakened the naira. 

“How many Nigerians actually store money in their homes as is being speculated? Do we further destroy the naira because of a few Nigerians?

On the controversy between the finance minister and the Central Bank of Nigeria which exposed the fact that some appointees of the government were working at cross purpose he said, 

 “It further speaks to the confusion that goes on daily in President Muhammadu Buhari” administration, the fact that the minister of finance who is a key part of the economy, who oversees the economy to get to know the policy of Naira redesigning through the media says a lot about our country and the government.

“It says a lot about the fact that in this government, something that concern monetary policy, the minister of finance was not part of the meeting to be briefed. She might not have a supervisory role over the CBN Governor but she is a key part of the economy. She would have pointed out the fact that the policy is ill timed.

“At a time like this. It is extremely ill-timed. Before this time, the Naira was doing N788 to $1, today it is over N800 and in Lagos it is over N1000 because people are now speculating.

“Everyday Nigerians are now leaving this country in droves. As they leave Nigeria they are selling their properties, they are buying forex. 

“Our economy is in tatters while the managers of our economy fight over who informed who or who got Presidential approval. 

“As the naira continues to plunge, more businesses will collapse this week. Thousands will be thrown into the employment market daily. This is our reality.

“We need to see all the factors affecting our Naira. If these people are not in touch with the reality of what is happening in Nigeria they keep on making wrong headed policies. They will keep on making mistakes. 

“In a country like ours we have been speaking for seven years about diversifying our economy about strengthening the Naira, I want to challenge this government, the banks to tell us how many new businesses the banks have supported to export this year. 

“If you want to strengthen the Naira you have to look at the balance of trade, you have to export more than we import. They should ask the banks how many people they funded to export, how many small businesses in the last 10 months, in the last one year or two years, five years or throughout the lifespan of this administration that will show you what is going in Nigeria. 

“It is a very unserious government that does not know what is  to be done.”

He challenged the security agents to fish out those that are hoarding the Naira to warrant the new policy.

“Why can’t our security agencies up their game, identify those who have been speculated to store billions in their homes and then use legal means to recover the money. 

“By the way who says all money stored at home is ill-gotten wealth? There are those who simply don’t trust banks or don’t want to incur the extortionist bank charges imposed by some banks”

On the security security advisory by some of the western nations and the departure of embassy officials and their families which have led to panic amongst Nigerians he said it is because the President failed to respond to rumours that some convicted terrorists were released to secure the freedom of the remaining Kaduna train captives. 

“Some now accuse his government of undermining the efforts of our men and women in the field by the indiscriminate release of those who have sworn to destroy our way of life. Only the President can confirm if this is true or not.

“Nigerians now live in fear of the unknown as they wonder if they could be in the right place at the wrong time. Our highways have gotten worse as bandits now take on and kill convoys with several policemen. If those with a retinue of police aides are being attacked and, in some cases killed, then who is safe in Buhari’s Nigeria?

“Even though President Buhari has sought to assure Nigerians that all is well one begins to wonder what is really going on.”

“We can’t continue to keep quiet while our President continues to pauperise us. I call on President Buhari to convene an emergency economic summit. 

“We all need to get involved in this conversation. It is meaningless to keep on talking about the 2023 general elections when our present realities suggest that we might not have a nation by that time. 

“We can’t continue acting like we don’t know tens of millions of Nigerians are unemployed and impoverished.Their plight gets worse as our economy gets worse. When is breaking point? “The President can’t keep on saying he is fighting inflation yet in an import dependent economy small businesses are paying up to N5 million to clear a 20ft container and up to N9million for a 40ft container. 

“Who is advising our President? Inflation begins from your ports. This government is killing small businesses. If the President is serious about strengthening the naira, he should find out how many new export oriented businesses Nigerian banks funded in the last one year. 

“He should find out how many new businesses Nigerian banks funded in the last 10 months. We can’t keep on deceiving ourselves.”

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