Tinubu’s policies important, but implemented wrongly — Fmr President Obasanjo

Obasanjo’s assessment comes as Tinubu’s government launches festivities to commemorate his one-year anniversary.

He focused on three administrative decisions: gasoline subsidies, exchange rates, and dealing with the military takeover in Niger Republic.

According to his media adviser, Kehinde Akinyemi, who issued a statement in Abeokuta on Sunday, Obasanjo spoke at a Colloquium: “Nigeria’s Development: Navigating the Way Out of the Current Economic Crisis and Insecurity” delivered at the Paul Aje Colloquium (PAC) in Abuja.

He berated Tinubu’s government, saying “the present Administration has not found the right way to handle the economy to engender confidence and trust for investors to start trooping in.”

Obasanjo said, “Today, the government has taken three decisions, two of which are necessary but wrongly implemented and have led to impoverisation of the economy and of Nigerians. These are removal of subsidy, closing the gap between black market and official rates of exchange and the third is dealing with a military coup in Niger Republic.

“The way forward is production and productivity which belief and trust in government leadership will engender. No shortcut to economic progress but hard work and sweat.

“Economy does not obey orders, not even military orders. I know that. If we get it right, in two years, we will begin to see the light beyond the tunnel. It requires a change of characteristics, attributes and attitude by the leadership at all levels to gain the confidence and trust of investors who have alternatives.”

He further said, “Total Energy has gone to invest $6 billion in Angola instead of Nigeria. If the truth must be stated, the present Administration has not found the right way to handle the economy to engender confidence and trust for investors to start trooping in.

“They know us more than we know ourselves. And now they are laughing at us, not taking us seriously. We have to present ourselves in such a way that we will be taken seriously. If the existing investors are disinvesting and going out of our country, how do we persuade new investors to rush in. We can be serious if we choose to be but we need to change from transactional leadership in government to transformational and genuine servant leadership.

“With change by us, the investors will give us the benefit of doubt, and security being taken care of on a sustainable long-term basis, they will start to test the water. With the right economic policies, attributes of integrity and honesty of purpose, all should be well with all hands on deck and the government becoming a catalyst for development, growth and progress.

“Tinkering with the exchange rate is not the answer. The answer is consistency and continuity in policy to ensure stability and predictability. That way, we will be sure of incentivising domestic and foreign investment. There must be honesty and transparency in government dealings and contracts and not lying with deception about these issues. When the government is seen as pursuing the right policy, the private sector will go for production and productivity,” he concluded.

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