Former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of the nation and faulted the proposal to sell some of the country’s performing national assets.
He said the current challenges facing the nation have nothing to do with what he described as an over-bloated balance sheet where Nigeria must offload assets, but rather “that of low productivity in practically every sector of the economy brought about by a neglect of the economy and delayed action.”
In the letter he personally signed, Kalu said Nigerians applaud the president’s fight against corruption, but “they also want an economy that would allow them to restore their human dignity as men and providers of their families.”
“Mr President, the time is now to change course. The capital to bridge the deficit in our budget so that government can build infrastructure, and meet her social welfare responsibilities to the people can be sourced from the IMF just like we have done with the ADB.
“The IMF condition of transparency and fiscal discipline are conditions your excellency should embrace, since, truly, it is the desire of this administration to roll back the recession.
“The very low cost of the IMF money and its long tenure will relieve the pressure on our economy. I urge your excellency to consider, seriously, the waited pros of the IMF bailout.
“There are brilliant economists and international financial experts across the country that can assist your administration in structuring a win-win deal with the IMF. We both know who these men and women are. Carpe Diem, seize the day sir, and make good on your promise to Nigerians. They are waiting patiently.”
He said the last 10 months have been a most difficult period for all Nigerians, especially the unemployed and those at the bottom of the economic ladder.
“The enthusiasm that spurred and greeted your emergence as president in 2015 had many expectations, and rightly so, because many Nigerians believe that you, the man Muhammadu Buhari, had the sincerity of purpose and commitment to usher in a new Nigeria.
“Our people were not oblivious of the challenges that lay ahead of you and the time it would take to get Nigeria to the Promised Land.
“Indeed, they were willing to be patient as long as that reassurance of a clear direction, sacrifice and integrity of purpose, justice and equity remained the guiding principle of your leadership; the signposts along this new direction that you proposed.”
He said many Nigerians acknowledge that the current situation in the country requires a drastic intervention of the Federal Government and that the government must, as a matter of urgency, unveil its direction to Nigeria.
The former governor said the government must define the nexus between the noble fight against corruption and the simple request for an economy that allows them to provide three square meals a day for their families, a roof over their heads, clean clothes on their back and security of lives and property.
“Mr President, I am without doubt of your integrity of purpose and your commitment to all Nigerians. However, sir, the current strategy and approach to containing uncertainty in the land and alleviating poverty is leaving the people in the dark and their bank accounts in the red. Anxiety among our unemployed youth is on the upswing sir, and we must make sure they do not lose hope,” Kalu said.