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Oby Ezekwesili blasts Osinbajo for “lazy thinking”


Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) in the upcoming 2019 elections, Dr. Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili, has taken aim at Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
» who recently cited bailouts handed to groaning states as one achievement of the Muhammadu Buhari led federal government.
Nigeria’s 36 States have occasionally received bailouts from the center » on Buhari’s watch, as they grapple with low internally generated revenues and low disposable incomes in their jurisdictions.
The bailouts were aimed at alleviating the sufferings of workers in these states, most of whom were owed backlog in monthly salaries when Buhari assumed the reins from Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.
However, Ezekwesili has described as ‘shameful’ the impression being created by the federal government that handing bailout funds to state governors to pay salaries is a focus and an achievement of the Buhari administration.
“Lazy, shameful thinking”
During a press conference in Lagos, Ezekwesili stated that a country that hopes to compete and win in the global marketplace has to think bigger than handing out bailouts to sub-national governments to carry out basic responsibilities.
“4 out of every 10 adults today are either unemployed or underemployed, and Nigeria is now the Poverty Capital of the world, with the World Bank confirming that we now have more extremely poor people than India which has a population six times our size,” Ezekwesili said.
The former Vice President of the World Bank for Africa and co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement, would go on to call Osinbajo’s remarks a big shame.
“And in the midst of this, the vice president was celebrating last week at the Nigeria Economic Summit that handing bailouts to state governors to pay salaries is an achievement. What a big shame!” she howled.
Osinbajo had highlighted in his speech that giving money to states to pay salaries was a major focus of the federal government.
Ezekwesili however believes that such bailouts amount to “using a plaster to treat cancer”.
She referred to the bailout funds as “a short-term escapism that cannot work. With such lazy thinking, it is no wonder that we keep going around in aimless circles under the Buhari/Osinbajo government”.
An economy in crisis
Ezekwesili described the Buhari/Osinbajo administration as one which has presided “over the worst economic recession Nigeria has seen in decades.”
During the 2015 electioneering campaigns, Osinbajo and Buhari had promised to “make Nigeria’s economy one of the fastest growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging 10% annually.”
However, Nigeria’s economy contracted by -1.58% in 2016, barely a year after the duo arrived the scene, no thanks to plummeting price of crude oil in the global market.
Nigeria emerged from its worst recession » in 29 years in September of 2017, but growth has remained sluggish and inflation is still at double digits.
In his Nigeria Economic Summit speech, Osinbajo also said the federal government has alloted 30 percent for capital expenditure in annual budgets since 2016.
However, the Ezekwesili Campaign Organization said in an emailed statement to Pulse that, “It is one thing to allocate 30% for capital expenditure, but what is most important is how the budget performed, and we all know that the performance was dismal as usual. Even the minister of finance revealed last month that just about 50% of the revenues projected by the government in the last budget was actualized. That is one more example of an under-performing government.”
Ezekwesili has urged voters to choose her over Buhari and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP because she is better suited to turn Nigeria’s economy around and set same on an upward trajectory.
“You can trust that when I say that under an Oby Ezekwesili presidency, we will get to work immediately lifting a minimum of 80 million Nigerians out of debilitating poverty, I mean business,” she said.
Ezekwesili, 55, often refers to Buhari and Atiku as Siamese twins » with nothing new to offer the country should either of them win the popular vote in February of 2019. She has coined “BuTiku” to portray how both candidates are one and the same thing.
Over 70 presidential candidates will be jostling for Nigeria’s number one job next Spring.


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