Nigeria: Population Increasing, Living Standards Nose-diving – Bala

Zakka BalaA social commentator, Zakka Bala, has decried the state of the nation, which he said has been characterised by increase in population and decrease in the standard of living.

“The issue of politics in Nigeria today is an index; Not a positive index”, he said, noting that “the politics of Nigeria today is very clumsy and is adding to the confusion that we are going through,” he said on Sunrise.

He opined that the nation was going thorough a litmus test and “preliminary results are not looking good”

“The only thing that probably appears to be rising in Nigeria has been the population” he said, insisting that a ratio analysis of all positive macro economic indices will show that “everything is nose-diving”.

He argued that the ratio of good healthcare, employment, infrastructural development to the 170 million strong population is not rising.

He further noted that the system of democracy operating in the country would not bring solutions as an “inclusive democracy” and not a “democracy of emasculation and vengeance” is the only way out.

“As long as we continue to practice this democracy of exclusion. This democracy of emasculation and vengeance we will just continue to widen the positive opportunities that will bring Nigeria out of the woods.”

Bala aired his views on Channels Television’s Sunrise programme.

Also appearing as a guest on the show, another social commentator, Biodun Sowunmi, stressed on the geographical dsparity in income and living standards between the North and the South.

Concerning the disparity in deprivation and unemployment, Sowunmi noted that the North has about 73 percent poverty ration compared to the South (East and West) with 37 percent and 27 percent compared to the South West.

“We built a country where people do not have meaningful development in all sectors of the country therefore we embark on a policy which in some cases leads to growth in some parts and in other cases it will not accelerate growth,” the analyst said.

However, political analyst and senior lecturer at the Lagos State University, Dr Adetokunbo Pearce explained that Nigeria’s woes originated from its days of colonisation.

“This disparity has been there in literacy, leading into employment” he said, arguing that Nigeria has not had enough time to solve the the problems which were inherited from Lord Luggard.

FG Being Political By Claiming Sanusi’s Suspension Won’t Affect Economy – Analyst

An Economist, Dr Abiodun Adedipe, on Saturday said that the controversial suspension of the CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi, is “a very critical issue for our economy” stressing that the manner in which the act was carried out will affect the economy and that the Federal Government’ s claim that it wouldn’t is merely a ‘political statement.’

Speaking on Sunrise (Saturday), Dr Adedipe said “Immediately that pronouncement was made, the exchange rate market began to react. Also the stock market started to react,” maintaining that macroeconomic indices began to move in adverse directions.

According to him “the major issue is new capital formation “which is simply new investment.” He added that “any investor, whether domestic or foreign, will naturally look at the development and say it is not the time for me to put in fresh money.”

“Ultimately, if we get back on track, that little space of time where we lost momentum willensure that the prospect for growth that the economy had at the beginning of the year will certainly fall short by the end of the year.”

He stressed that the position of the CBN Governor is very key to the financial industry and the national economy hence comments made by the person in the position are important and are key indicators of the direction of policy and response of the system to developments in the economic space.

“Whatever actions are taken or utterance made by such a person is a reflection of the data and information available to him.

The way the government deals with whoever is in that position becomes important and that is why in my opinion, the government has not handled it in a way that will help this economy.”

While speaking on the programme, Social Commentator, Biodun Sowunmi, said that, that the suspended CBN governor erred “may not necessarily be in doubt”

“The fact of the matter is that there are so many allegations made against Sanusi. Whether they are right or not, we don’t know because it has not been investigated.

However, “where people have problems now is not whether there are no issues, indictments against Sanusi. They are mere allegations which have not been investigated. The real issue is whether the president has the powers under the law to suspend Sanusi.”

He stressed that the president has a right to appoint, nominate while the Senate confirms. “That means the President is sharing that authority with Senate and when it comes to the issue of removal, it’s only under section 1F that made an explicit provision that you can only remove the governor of Central Bank if for instance the President recommends the removal and is backed by two-thirds of the Senate.”

He continued by saying “interestingly, there’s only one aspect of section 11 that made reference to removal. The section relating to that is section 11(1)(D), you can only be suspended from office if the professional body that he belongs to finds him guilty of one thing or the other.

“There’s no provision for suspension, there’s only provision for removal and you can only suspend somebody if he has been found guilty by his professional body. That is not the case.”

He attributed the suspension to the president’s desire to accelerate his transformation agenda.

Much Ado About Constitution Amendment

This week’s edition of Sunrise is about some of the proposals by members of the House of Representatives for the on-going Constitution amendment with a focus on local government autonomy, appointment of the Attorney-General of the Federation, impeachment of President and six-year  single term as proposed by the Senate.

A member of the House of Representatives, Ibrahim El-Sudi, legal practitioner, Bisi Adegbuyi and social commentator, Biodun Sowunmi, make up the panel of discussants.