Thursday, April 09, 2020

COVID-19: Atiku’s prescriptions to mitigate effects on Nigeria - ITREALMS

The former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has given some prescriptions on how to mitigate effects of Chinese Virus-19 also known as Coronavirus or COVID-19, reports ITREALMS.

He predicted that if Nigeria does not get her acts right by the end of this pandemic, it may not even be giant of West Africa, let alone Africa.

“History will forgive us if we make the wrong decisions, but it certainly will not forgive us if we take no decisions in the misguided belief that others will save us. If Nigeria does not save herself in this season of a global emergency, we may find that a new world order will emerge and we will no longer be the Giant of Africa. We may not even be the Giant of West Africa if we do not take decisive action.

For him, Nigeria, for instance, cannot be considered a serious nation when her leaders refused to cut down on profligacy and instead seek outside help to fund inefficiencies.

We cannot be considered a serious country when we refuse to cut down on profligacy and instead seek outside help to fund our inefficiencies.

“Even in our own individual houses, when things get tight, the first thing we should do is cut down on unnecessary expenditure and then you look for creative ways to generate funds and develop our household economy, before we even seek outside funding,” he said.

As said by him, a situation where the Nigerian government always seeks outside funding, which, by the way has to be repaid if ever granted, displays an inadequacy in the thinking process of leadership at the moment. Stressing other than asking for debt relief, there are realistically steps to be taken to protect citizens from the type of economic collapse that could lead to social upheaval in Nigeria.

He prescribed that Nigeria could start from where the country has the most influence, the global oil industry.

“To save our economy, Nigeria must engage in immediate shuttle diplomacy to get Saudi Arabia and Russia to settle their differences and end the price war that is affecting the price of oil almost as much as the pandemic. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel is more vulnerable than Russia right now.

“Yes, Russia is also vulnerable, but so are we. Russia has an almost stable gas market in Europe. We do not. So we are much more vulnerable. This price war is not just affecting Nigeria and Angola badly; it is also affecting the valuation of ARAMCO and delaying vital decisions, which are troubling signs.

“Nigeria must bring her weight (like she had done in the past) to bear to force an early cessation of hostilities so that oil prices could start looking up,” he said.

Also, Atiku advised the Federal Government to insist that the Abacha loots held back by various Western governments must be immediately and unconditionally returned to Nigeria.

“We have a humanitarian crisis on our hands. I believe that President Trump is a reasonable man,” he submitted.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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