Approval of President Muhammadu Buhari’s fresh foreign loan request by the Senate made our picks for this week’s Politics Roundup.
We also considered a hint by Abubakar Malami on FG adopting political solutions in addressing secessionist agitations in the country, among other important stories.
We looked at the implications of these stories on the nation’s growth and the reasons they matter.
1. FG’s unending borrowing
President Muhammadu Buhari’s government on November 10 secured yet again, the Senate approval to borrow $16,230,077,718, and €1,020,000,000 external loans.
The lawmakers also approved for the president a grant component of $125 million.
Presenting the loan request before the lawmakers, Chairman of Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Clifford Ordia explained that the projects which funds are requested for in the 2018-2020 borrowing plan are ongoing.
He added that the projects would stimulate a “rebirth of commercial and engineering activities and the consequent tax revenues payable to Government as a result of these productive activities will increase.”
It appears there is no hope in sight of the Buhari’s administration ending its penchant for borrowing
The continuous borrowing by the current administration should be an issue of concern to Nigerians, most especially when these loans are being solicited without a clear agenda on how to pay them back.
It is high time the government look at ways to create wealth as well as cut down the cost of governance to align with dwindling revenue, instead of continuously accumulating loans that probably will be left for the coming generations.
2. Malami’s on Kanu, Igboho’s secessionist agitations
On Wednesday, November 10, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, said the Nigerian government may consider political solutions to settle issues with leading secessionist agitators in the country, Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho.
Speaking during an interview with some journalists in Abuja, Malami, who is also the Minister of Justice said:
“As far as the security situation is concerned and as far as governance and this administration are concerned, you cannot rule out all possibilities.”
Noting that no approach has been made to that effect yet, Malami said, “There has to be an approach and then a counter consideration.
“So, we’ll cross the bridge when eventually we get to that; when perhaps a type of request is made, we’ll consider.”
The hint on considering a political solution to secessionist agitations in the country is a welcome idea.
If the hint by Malami is not a mere political statement, it shows the Buhari-led government may have finally decided to listen to the voices of many Nigerians who have maintained that dialogue and not prosecution and clampdown remain the solution to agitations for secession in the country.
3. Soludo’s cruise to victory
Prof. Charles Soludo on Wednesday, November 10, was declared the winner of the November 6 Anambra State governorship election.
The election Chief Returning Officer, Prof Florence Obi, announcing the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate and former On Central Bank of Nigeria governor as the winner of the poll declared:
“Charles Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner and returned elected.”
Soludo’s victories in 19 out of 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra state show he is widely accepted by the people.
Since to him much is given, much is expected, the ex-CBN governor has an onerous task to live up to the expectations of the people.
The verdict by many stakeholders that the Anambra election was free, fair and credible, should motivate INEC to sustain such outcome in other future elections in the country.
4. Adesina’s shameless claim
President Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, on November 11, boasted how bandits and terrorists had been on the run.
In an article he titled “They said nothing was happening…How about these?” and posted on his Facebook wall, Adesina made efforts to make Nigerians believe that his principal is addressing the insecurity issues in Nigeria.
He said, “Has security not been jigged up in a way that bandits, terrorists, insurgents have been put on the back foot? Are evildoers not being daily sent to God to answer for their crimes? Is the country not being cleaned up, and it is just a matter of time before the sanitation is completed?”
While Adesina is duty-bound to launder the image of his principal and his government, which is being battered by insecurity among others, it is important he does that knowing Nigerians are not fools.
When mayhem against citizens by bandits and terrorists are commonplace, Adesina appears to have shamelessly spitted on the graves of Nigerians who have been killed by terrorists and bandits, with his claim of the dreaded devils being on the run.
5. Akeredolu’s on devolution of power
Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu on November 10 called for urgent devolution of power to the states.
Speaking when he hosted officials of the National Senior Secondary Education Commission, NSSEC, in his office, the Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum said:
“The hue and cry about restructuring which has pervaded the entire country is about devolving power to the states to make them function effectively.
“Over centralisation of structures of governance is a major reason for the unending agitations for restructuring.
“There should be devolution of powers to enable the states to function effectively as federating units within the federation.”
Akeredolu only emphasised the position of many Nigerians, especially the southern part.
Continuous ignoring of this demand by the Federal Government is not doing the country any good.
The earlier the demands for the devolution of power is heeded to by the Federal Government the better for the country as the ever-growing agitations against Nigeria as presently constituted is no longer healthy for its unity, peace and progress.