Grandstanding, incredulous Finance Minister


Probity all over the world demands that people in high positions of trust should at all times watch their utterances and behaviours while in office.

Recently, Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun regaled Nigerians that the country would soon come out of her ravaging recession in a matter of some months. This statement sort of excited the hapless citizenry especially with the statement coming from no less than our own Chancellor of the Exchequer, Finance Minister, we have no cause to doubt this woman as her utterances are taken as the gospel truth at all times. President Muhammadu Buhari knows why he gave her this mother of all ministries to manage.

Her statement on recession calmed Nigerians, raising the hope that she knew what she was talking and should not be taken with a pinch of the salt given her antecedents and pedigree. The statement was taken hook, line and sinker. Undoubtedly, this finance guru had hitherto  performed creditably managing the country’s comatose and ailing economy, but that recession statement had sort of belied that sterling performance in office.

In a manner resembling wheeling a patient to the surgery room last Monday, the minister shocked Nigerians at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja that Nigeria is broke and that it can no longer pay workers’ salaries and gratuities any more, this bombshell is enough to send many Nigerians to their early graves.

Given the time the minister assured the citizens that the country would soon get out or recession  and now which is a very short period, the relevant question to ask is have some thieves sneaked into the coffers of government and carted away the commonwealth of the nation moreso when the same minister told Nigerians that the country’s external reserves had increased? We demand a plausible answer to this question from the minister.

The evident rapidity with which according to the minister, government is unable to pay salaries and gratuities is therefore suspect and should be meticulously probed and investigated  because the minister cannot just wake up one day and tell Nigerians that the country is broke. She should come up with facts and figures.

A majority of Nigerians find it extremely difficult to believe the minister asking what is the government doing with funds retrieved from the country’s looters by the Economic and Financial Crimes Comission (EFCC) and other relevant agencies. We equally support them in this instance. It is not enough for the minister to say that the country is broke and everybody goes to sleep, she should support her statement with facts and figures and tell Nigerians who and what was largely responsible for this unexpected and unbelievable imbroglio the country has found itself.

The minister should use her expertise and find all it takes to pay workers’ salaries  and retirement benefits soonest even if it means scraping the bottom of the pot. It is inhuman, wicked and blatantly unfeeling for the minister to tell Nigerians nay workers who have used the better part of their lives working for their motherland to be told that the country is broke meaning that they should not expect anything from government in terms of salary and retirement benefits.

She should liaise with relevant stakeholders and her employers to find a common ground on this issue. A worker deserves his wages, so says the Holy Book.

Government should expedite action soon to save Nigerians from suicide and mass deaths.

The minister’s statement which dotted newspapers last Tuesday on this issue is to say the least incredible and should be thrown into the trash can.

The minister should consider this poser, what happens to revenues generated by relevant agencies of the Federal Government. The Customs, tax agency, the Immigration and others. Where are the monies going to? Does the President go for medical vacations for free? We doubt. There had been hues and cry by Nigerians on the humongous remunerations of the lawmakers to be drastically reduced.

Maybe the minister does not exactly know how much is in the Federal Government’s coffers before her Nigeria is broke intercontinental ballistic missile hurled at the citizens. As the Yoruba adage has it “You will always see the masquerade and the masquerader.”

Kemi Adeosun should always look deeply inwards to know exactly how loaded Nigeria is financially before making her killing statement in the future and maybe some evil government operatives are covering many things from her in terms of finance. She should be circumspect to succeed in that ministry.

We and other Nigerians say Nigeria is not broke, far from it. Nigerians is at a cross roads financially as Kemi Adeosun would want Nigerians to know, should we then turn to Donald Trump or the British Prime Minister for bailout, it is incredible, unexpected; the minister’s statement cannot be taken as the true financial situation of the country; she should turn to her employers for concerted action and not rue on the situation. Unpaid workers are less concerned about her lamentation, they want their salaries and pensions paid soonest.

Kemi Adeosun’s utterances are akin to a situation where the head of a family wakes up one day and tells his wife and children that he is unable to perform his financial obligations anymore because he is broke, the scenario is better imagined than real.