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Buhari Will Soon Learn The Biggest Political Lesson Of His Life

The Atiku I know and the determined Atiku I know cannot allow this provincial bigot called Buhari to steal his mandate. I have always agreed with President Reagan who rightly said  that thieves can run but can never ever find enough hidding place .

If this is true, and I know it is possible, it only confirms that Buhari’s stubbornness needs to confronted with a higher stubbornness.

Buhari will soon come to the painful truth that the people’s mandate he stole and running with seeking legitimacy will soon be retrieved from him, including using all democratic and diplomatic means.

He must be taught a big lesson he will live the rest of his political life to regret and for thinking that he could steal Atiku’s mandate and get away with it.

Let him connive with the judiciary he has since pocketed and thinking that the justices he has been blackmailing so that they could by force do his bidding, but Atiku is equallg well armed.

Buhari will eventually learn this lesson that Atiku is no political pushover and that he will eventually retrieve his mandate, whether Buhari like it or not.

Employing Shell to lobby European leaders and extract expensively paid congratulatory messages from these European leaders will not hold water because Shell knows that soon the UN will take a stand on the fraud that happened in Nigeria on Feb 23 and start the process of retrieving that mandate stolen by Buhari and having been falsely parading himself as president-elect.

Only time will tell when Buhari and Shell will meet their waterloo.

The author, Odilim Enwegbara

Why buharinomics means debt overload

The recklessness with which Buhari administration is piling up debts is dangerously alarming. Our debt burden has become synonymouswas  with buharinomics which as feudalist socialism is growing big government (recurrent spending) without corresponding growth in productivity.

Growth in debt as a result of buharinomics being synonymous with bloated infrastructure investment cronyism, where government apologist contractors are allowed to squander billions of dollars and trillions of naira borrowed for and spent on the wrong infrastructure development, and infrastructure spending without conducting holistic debt sustainability analysis.

Borrowing cannot be stopped when top fiscal authorities are conniving with banks to continuously load expensive debts on government while doing everything to frustrated efforts to increase tax revenues.

Take the tragedy of the ongoing billions of dollars borrowed from China for the construction of obsolete monorails between Abuja and Kaduna and between Lagos and Ibadan, which if done by profit maximising private sector firms would have cost a fraction of the bloated government spending. Had buharinomics not been also infrastructure development socialism, modern multi-rail speed trains for cargo and humans would have built across the country with the highest return-on-investment being the single driving force.

Understandably, synonymous with big government, Buharinomics has led the biggest fiscal deficit spending with virtually every activity of government only carried out with borrowed money.

It is this easy to borrow and difficult to repay that has resulted in Buhari’s debt extravaganza with our national debt rising from N12.06tn (1999-2015) to N24.39tn (2015-2019) and debt service obligations too rising from N943bn in 2015 to N2.04tn in 2019 along with equally debt service to revenue ratio dangerously rising from less than 50% in 2015 to 70% in 2019 and expected to hit 105% by December 2020.

The only way to stop this recklessness is to allow private sector, not government to drive critical infrastructure investment. Also government should drastically reduce its recurrent spending by downsizing its workforce and unnecessary government spending in the false name of the day to day running of the affairs of government. Cost of elections was humongous and unnecessary. Boko Haram is costing hundreds of billions of naira and fighting this insurgency has become a big business for Nigerian military.

Fuel subsidy should have continued if not that it is a scam involving top government officials and so-called fuel importers. Not only is our VAT the lowest among peer economy, VAT evasion is so much that as high as 70% of VAT collected on behalf of government is diverted rather than remitted. Most important is the urgency for fiscal federalism so that with all the states and regions mining their businesses, federal government will have fewer responsibilities, including wasteful ones currently costing it trillions of naira.

Why over 1000 abandoned projects litter the country?

If and when government allows private sector to take over investment in critical infrastructure with a focus on high return on investment (ROI) as the single driving force, many projects wouldn’t have ended up abandoned.

If you prioritise projects based on their importance to the country’s economic growth and social inclusiveness,then, it will be difficult for such projects to end up abandoned.

And the very fact that government’s revenue is mostly dependent on oil. Once oil revenue suddenly plunges, then, all the major projects lined up to be funded with oil revenue have to be automatically suspended, and should the revenue crisis continue, then, those projects over time become abandoned.

Unfortunately, each government comes up with its own big white elephant projects without serious cost benefits going into such projects and without clearly confirmed funding sources. That is why once the government that initiated the projects leave government the next government in its replacement, without any legally binding obligations toward the inherited projects easily severe funding for those projects, especially in cases where the initiating government has since collected its 10% share upfront.

The high rate of abandoned projects is an indication of an unhealthy economy because if the economy is healthy enough, revenue stream will be growing and projects will easily find funding.

What needs to be done is to make sure that both national and state-based projects are prioritised based on their importance to growing the economy as well as on the availability funding sources. Second, let private take over these abandoned projects.

By Odilim Enwegbara

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