Recession: TraderMoni, MarketMoni Caused Recession – NLC

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A strong accusation of mismanagement has been levied against Federal Government by organised labour. It has assessed Nigeria’s present economic situation, saying the FG’s social intervention programmes and misapplication of foreign loans deepened the recession in the country.

The Secretary-General, Nigeria Labour Congress,  Emmanuel Ugboaja, who stated this in an interview with PUNCH on Wednesday, said misuse  of foreign loans, insecurity and the cash giveaways in the form of MarketMoni, TraderMoni, and other cash-sharing programmes by the Federal Government  worsened  the recession in the country.

The NLC    secretary noted, “We have been going about managing our economy wrongly. That is the truth. We have tended to act as if we are an industrialised country when we are not. We have a huge population, we should encourage and do things that take into cognizance our youthful strength.

“Why must our construction be driven by external equipment we don’t produce when we could have achieved same using manual labour;  direct labour kind of performance rather than use a machine costing N15bn  to apply the same to 50,000 youths?

80 per cent of our borrowings  go back to lenders – NLC

“Our people need to get more creative in terms of options, where we put our money. We borrow and 80 per cent of that still go back to the economy of the lender in terms of equipment and expertise. If all the borrowings we had done had been towards agriculture, it would have made more sense. We  have youthful population but we are paying trillions in subsidy. Ask yourself, who is collecting it?”

N5,000 cash giveaway by FG, a misadventure, not a productive way to spend money — NLC secretary

Ugboaja dismissed the cash giveaways by the Federal Government as a misadventure, arguing that giving out N5,000 was not a productive way to spend money.

He said, “If we used N3trn  to do roads and rail construction through direct labour in Nigeria, we would not be talking about recession. But now, what politicians are doing is giving people N5,000, That’s not the way to go.

“Let people be productive; It cannot be about TraderMoni or MarketMoni. It must be about people being paid for being productive. The government intervention programmes cannot get us out of this problem. They are parts of what got us deeper into this recession.”

“What we need to do is get people to be productive. It is not about giving them money to buy second-hand clothes to sell.  That cannot be the way to spend the money you have been giving the people,” Ugboaja stated.

The NLC secretary  further observed that insecurity had made people to abandon their farms, describing this as a challenge to the economy, adding that this had also made people resort to self-help to survive.

He added, “If people can’t safely go to their farms, there would be a challenge in food production.  If people can’t safely get out what they have cultivated, there would be a challenge in the economy.

“Livestock farmers cannot get feed for their animals because they cannot get to the farm to get the maize needed to make the feed, it would be a challenge to the economy and once that challenge is there, people are going to resort to self-help to survive and that is what is encouraging the insecurity the more; so it’s a vicious circle.”

He said  organised labour  presented its observations on the poor management of the economy to the government.  He accused government of operating in isolation and feeling superior to citizens.

He said, “We have a set of people that feel that it is beneath their status or it brings down their status if they have to consult workers in the country and we are supposed to be in a participatory democracy.

“The people (in government) feel it is incumbent on them to make sure that nobody adds a word to what they want to do. It is not a monarchy. They keep making mistakes and they apologise profusely when we want to apply the big hammer in form of strikes or street protests.  It’s frustrating.”

The Debt Management Office had on   June 30, 2020 stated  in naira terms, the total public debt stock, which comprises the debt stock of the Federal Government, the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory stood at N31.009trn.

The corresponding figure for March 31, 2020 was  N28.628tn or USD79.303bn.

The increase in the debt stock by N2.381tn or USD6.593bn Bi was accounted for by the USD3.36 Billion Budget Support Loan from the International Monetary Fund, New Domestic Borrowing to finance the Revised 2020 Appropriation Act.

The Federal Government had in April 2019 said it had spent about N300bn on the National Social Investment Programmes in the last three years.


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Mohammed Abdulganiyu Haruna

He is a prolific writer and a BSc. and MSc. holder at the prestigious Universities, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria and University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria. He is also a freelance writer and a publisher of many articles and a book. He is a social worker by profession and a passionate and patriotic enthusiast. He has won many writing contests and given presentations on salient issues at different radio stations and news outlets. He has lectured at so many schools, recently, at University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. He is an accommodating and lovely person.

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