Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
Senator Godwin Ifeanyi Araraume has commended President Muhammadu Buhari and his economic team for pulling Nigeria out of recession, saying it is a resounding message to Nigerians and the international community that his government is alive to its responsibility of positively growing the economy for the benefit of the people.
In a statement issued yesterday, in Abuja, he said though Nigerians may not instantaneously feel the huge impact of the positive economic growth rate, the country walking out of recession is the first step, adding that there are strong and positive indices that President Buhari-led government is on the fast-track of economic recovery, which is more important.
Araraume, who is a Board member of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) added,: â€œI totally agree with those who said that there are different stages Nigeria must go through before the masses will feel the effects of end of the recession.
â€œThe first step is being out of recession, which is very key to the process; and later the country will follow the path of economic recovery. What is important right now is for us to maintain the situation so that Nigeria does not go back to recession and I am very sure this government has the capacity, the political will and discipline to sustain the process.â€™â€™
Araraume urged Nigerians to support Buhari for his consistent efforts, ascribing the recession to a mixture of factors, including mismanagement of the economy by the past administrations that failed to save for the raining day; total dependence on oil, and the failure to diversify the nation economy.
He said President Buhari had taken some right steps that has culminated to the good news of existing the recession, including the deliberate government policies to grow the oil/non-oil sectors and economic diversification programmes.
â€˜â€™Check it out; the massive road and railway construction work across the country being executed by the Ministry of Transportation, are bringing back massive jobs that had been lost in the sector during the last administrationâ€™â€™, Araraume further stated.
â€œBefore this administration came on board, contractors working on federal governmentâ€™s projects were not paid. That is now history. Look at Abuja, all the abandoned projects have almost been completed; the same thing going on in the Southeast and Southwest geo-political zones.â€™â€™
â€˜â€™Before Buhari came on board, there was huge corruption and impunity. Government officials were doing things as if nobody was in-charged. Contracts were being reserved for people in the presidency. But you donâ€™t hear those things anymore. If you are pre-qualified technically and your financial biding is successful, you get the job.
â€˜â€™Nobody tells you anymore that some jobs are reserved for powerful people in the presidency or in government; there is no special interest anymore in the award of federal government contracts. If you have your necessary documentations ready and the necessary papers, you are good to go.
â€˜â€™What this means is that those who are engaged in legitimate business can now engage in government businesses. And those who are fraudulent, those who think they can just come with their briefcases, get into offices and get contracts, have no place in this government anymore.
â€˜â€™Take a look also at the ease-of-doing-business in Nigeria today. Before now, getting documents for businesses was taking some months but now it has been simplified. For example, if you pay your tax, you can get your tax clearance within a week or less than that.â€™â€™
Senator Araraume advised the state and local governments to support President Buhariâ€™s efforts, adding that there is now transparency in the release of funds to state and local governments, adding that nothing is withheld.
While commending Buhari-led government for having the political will to implement the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Senator Araraume added that there is now discipline in the management of government fund.
â€˜â€™Before now, government agencies were rushing to spend its budget allocations before the end of the financial year; but you dare not do that now. The system is now workingâ€™â€™, he stated.
â€˜â€™As a result of introduction of BVN in our banking transactions, financial crime rate has dropped drastically. Success in government does not mean building of roads alone; there must be sanity in our system and that is what we are enjoying under Buhari-led government.â€™â€™