Address Nigeria’s challenges, ex-Kwara gov aspirant tells Tinubu
A former Kwara State governorship aspirant, Engineer Sunday Adebayo Babalola, has urged President Bola Tinubu’s administration to address the myriad of challenges confronting Nigeria.
He decried that there is worsening poverty and food insecurity in Nigeria.
He also noted that there is the abysmal depreciation of the naira, growing unemployment, high inflation, insecurity of lives and poverty and other national challenges.
He urged the President to ensure that strategies are activated and executed to address Nigeria’s challenges to alleviate the burdens of Nigerians.
Speaking with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, he also advised the President to ignore sycophants who would want to deceive him by giving him concocted and sweet reports that do not reflect the realities of things in Nigeria.
He stated that the sycophants would present such reports to curry favour from him and make him think that all is well with Nigerians even when many Nigerians are wallowing in excruciating poverty and heightened insecurity.
Babalola who also is a former Deputy Director of the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources urged the President to create a friendly environment for businesses to thrive.
Babalola said: “My candid advice to Mr. President is as follows. He should not listen to sycophants that are surrounding him, who will be telling him that all is well with Nigerians. Who want him to think that he is on top of everything. He should not listen to them
“Secondly, he should do an independent search, or questioning of the people who are sincerely minded. It is not what people tell him alone. He as the president must have a way of getting in touch with the masses. Definitely he was Lagos State Governor and he was also the leader of APC and he was also the person who coordinated South-West for victory. All those we give to him. But he should use the same method to reach out to people who will tell him the truth and not sycophants who maye be surrounding him
“When he knows the truth, as the Bible says ‘the truth will set you free’ he can act on those truths. People are actually suffering. Many of the sufferings are not the making of Mr President but it is the case of what he met on ground. No other President was bold enough to cancel fuel subsidy, for example, and I doff my hat for him for that bold step.
“At the same time, he should find a way of reaching out to the people who are suffering directly to know exactly what is happening in town. It is not even what the masses are asking for. What the people will ask is give us money. That is what they will understand. But know what is happening to them and make a decision on how you are going to help that situation. I am not talking about doling out our money or giving some palliatives. That would not help, because it will just be giving them the help for a period unless you will be giving them for the whole of the tenure. I do not think palliative is the solution.”
He added: “The solution is that the government should create an environment that is good for business. Currently our environment is not good for business. You create facilities that will enable people to do business among which is not the kind of IBB contraction of Peoples Bank of Nigeria. The current government should establish funds or facilities where people who genuinely need loans can access and at an interest rate that is reasonable.
“He should also work hard to make the Naira appreciate. The situation with the forex is not encouraging. The rate of naira to the dollar is very high and very bad. Thank God Port Harcourt refinery is expectedly going to be on stream soon, and hopefully, the Dangote Refinery will soon be on stream. The government should work on the other refineries and make sure they work.
“The key is that the government should create an enabling environment for the people to do business. That itself will have a ripple effect because if I have a business and I am expanding, I will employ more people. That will reduce unemployment drastically. Today we have about 20 million out-of-school children. With this kind of figure, we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder. Both the people who are in the fortified place and those of us who are among the masses are not safe at all. So, I beg him to try and create an enabling environment. That is actually the way to teach the people to fish instead of giving them fish for one meal.”