Utomi Faults Buhari’s Comment on Administration Achievement

Professor of political economy and founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership, Prof. Pat Utomi, has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s assertion that his administration is doing better than he met it.

Utomi, who spoke during an interview with journalists, said the assertion was not valid. He noted that the nation was not as poor as it is when Buhari met it. He said Nigeria presently has more people living in extreme poverty than in any country worldwide.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday said his administration had achieved a lot since he came on board compared to what he met in the office. He said those criticizing the administration should be fair in terms of reflecting on “where we were before we came, where we are now and what resources are available to us and what we have done with the limited resources.”
Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Statistics NBS released its Consumer Price Index CPI with an inflation rate increase by 15.75 percent (year-on-year) in December 2020 compared to 14.48 percent in November 2020. Being compared to the previous regime, in 2010, the inflation rate was at 13.74%.

With this fact, Utomi said: “The truth of the matter is that Nigeria is not in good shape. Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world today. But it was not seven years ago.”
“Nigeria is more divided and tense today than it was seven years ago. Nigeria has been getting progressively worse. Every government has been worse than the one before it. That is the tragedy of Nigeria.”

“I have talked about this several times. National disaster is looming. The fact is that political actors do not understand the meaning of public service anymore.”
Utomi faulted political leaders who fail to sacrifice for building a better tomorrow. He said, “If we look at the scramble to borrow and what it is being committed to, which is not in productive activities, we know tomorrow will be scary and perhaps most uncertain. There is no question about that.”

However, the political economist said if political actors, irrespective of their ethnic nationalities, political leanings, and religious bias, could change their public service behavior, Nigeria will be liberated.
He said if there is intense production concentration, issues of borrowing will be settled.
“When you produce enough to meet that concentration will not only amortize the debt but also will provide you more employment and expand the economy. General borrowing can only lead us to more trouble.”

Utomi urged leaders to change behavior, noting that “Nigeria is considered an unsafe place to invest in because of the regulatory risks. Investors are more likely to fail in business because of the government’s actions than any market forces. We spend so much on infrastructure, and no person comes to invest. What is the point?”
“Most of the money spent on infrastructure is unnecessary. There is private money we can attract and spend on infrastructure. But that private money is scared of Nigeria because it does not know if the next governor will come in, he will continue or discontinue with the project.

“Nigerian political leaders, quote me, are irresponsible. Quote me ten times. They are ruining the future of their children and grandchildren because of the unintelligent pursuit of money or reckless pursuit of personal aggrandizement.”
He concluded that If the leaders do not change, everything will fail.

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