Leaders of Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to give greater attention to Nigeria’s economy over his government’s war against corruption in the country.
The group’s leaders, who met on Tuesday at the residential compound of Pa Reuben Fasoranti in Akure, Ondo State, said they supported the anti-corruption war but stressed that it must be based on the law.
They noted that fighting corruption is a time-consuming process and should not be the only agenda of the Buhari-led federal government while the country gradually collapses as a result of the drop in international oil revenues.
“Afenifere reviews the anti-corruption war that is going on in the country, we support the war because corruption is evil but we quickly warn that the war again corruption should not be selective and sectional, it should also be fought within the confines of the rule of law,” they said.
Speaking further on behalf of the Afenifere leaders, group spokesman Yinka Odunmakin said the president should revamp every sector of the economy.
Odunmakin explained that the leaders reviewed the “virtual collapse of the economy” as oil revenues have dwindled in the international market, thereby confirming the group’s position over the years on the dangers of relying on a monopoly economy.
He added that for Nigeria to get out of its current economic challenges, her economy needs to be diversified through the immediate implementation of the 2014 National Conference outcome document.
“We have noticed that in trying to solve the problem occasioned by the dwindling revenue the federal government has been taking certain measures,” he said. He cited the increase in kerosene prices, which, he noted, can only increase the hardship of the poor people of Nigeria.
“We have also noticed the issue of N50 stamp duty on every bank deposit and considered such as an anomaly, that the Central Bank which should be encouraging the banking culture in the country is trying to discourage such culture.”
He urged the government to immediately consider the restructuring of the country along the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference, given that government is a continuum, adding that such implementation would create the new corridors of prosperity that can take Nigeria out of the current crisis she is facing.
The Afenifere leaders also decried the recent disappearance of the 2016 budget from the National Assembly.
“We are embarrassed and scandalized by the processes that characterized the presentation of the 2016 budget which is
unprecedented in the history of the country that a budget was presented to the national assembly was later declared missing while another one also resurfaced.
“If there were mistakes in the earlier budget presentation, the government should have come out clean and apologized to the people of the country [and we advise] the federal government not to repeat such again.
Afenifere further stated that there were errors in the budget, adding that some of the proposed expenditure cannot be justified.