A group of civil society organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of Coalition for Civil Society Groups for Transparency and Accountability has lauded the economic reforms of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, barely one year after assuming office as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The group cited the deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector and the floating of the Foreign Exchange among other reforms as very pivotal policies and reforms whose impact will reverse the current economic downturn of the country despite their far reaching and dire consequences on the short-term livelihood of the citizenry at the moment.
In a communique released at the end of a 2-day Civil Society Roundtable on the impact of the economic reforms of the Tinubu administration and signed by Comrade Danesi Momoh.
The convener and national coordinator, Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative (EUYI); Ambassador Solomon Adodo, co-convener and leader, Rising up for a United Nigeria (RUN); Comrade Igwe Ude-Umanta, coalition programme director and executive director, Guardians of Democracy and Development Initiative (GoDDI) and Barr. Ibrahim Ahmed, Partners for Legislative Agenda in Nigeria (PLAN), the group said even though there is an understandable public outcry, frustration and tension in the face of the falling purchase power of the naira, geometric inflation and weak financial capacity of most Nigerian families, all hope is not lost and there’s certainly light at the end of the tunnel.
According to the communique, “whereas the reality of the economic policies of the Tinubu administration is painful, it is necessary and unavoidable to save Nigeria from a total collapse and to have the prospect of a revived working economy. All things being equal, a recovery is imminent and progressive.
“Similarly, the imminent full take-off of the Dangote and Port Harcourt Refineries will mark a bold step in addressing stability in the prices of petroleum prices and also mitigate the forex challenges thereby encouraging more investments.
“On the issue of tax reforms and revenue generation, the reforms are in the right direction. What is needed is full implementation, and ensuring appropriate sanctions where infringements occur, especially for both those bent on perpetuating the crimes of multiple taxation and the tax Invaders”.
The coalition also chided those who feel the removal of fuel subsidy should automatically bring an end to borrowing, adding that, “what is important is responsible borrowing and good debt management especially as experts are unanimous that under this administration, our debt profile is stable and its management is top notch”.
While calling on Nigerians to remain calm, hopeful and supportive of the present administration despite the excruciating pain for the realization of the full potential of these reforms, the Coalition “urged Nigerians to deliberately guard against being inflamed by actors whose intentions may be unpatriotic or of political extremism”.
It was also the informed position of the Coalition as contained in the communique that for these reforms to be translated to tangible results, “governments at all levels must cut waste and re-channel resources to productive ventures. Also, banks that were recently found to have hoarded forex the same way they have been diverting naira cash to POS Operators must be openly sanctioned”.
“That government should work with military dispatch to fix policy glitches and engage citizens more with the right information to curb fake news and twisted narratives. To this end, the Coalition vide its communique, pledged to meet regularly in a bid to support and criticise where necessary, government economic policies as every patriot should do,” he said.