Buhari to the Nation: Gird Your Loins!

In 2016, several departments and agencies of the federal government will be merged or scrapped, just as 42 ministries have been collapsed into 24. Several missions/embassies will also be shut. Moral: jobs will be lost.

During a “Presidential Media Chat” aired live, Wednesday evening, on radio and television, President Muhammadu Buhari pointed the way the country would be run in the new year.

“I need to be convinced,” he said in answer to a question suggesting naira devaluation. Scarcity of foreign currencies, he stated, is the reason Nigerians in the diaspora are not getting the foreign currencies they need, and importers are not getting them either. But he emphasised that imports of only essential goods would be encouraged with foreign exchange. Moral: the naira will continue to fall in value; businesses will continue to suffer.

A number of court orders have been disobeyed by the DSS because of the enormity of crimes committed by the suspects, he noted. Sambo Dasuki, for allegedly sharing billions of naira meant for arms’ purchase among politicians, thereby causing several deaths from Boko Haram; Nnamdi Kanu, for allegedly entering Nigeria with no passport (even though he had British and Nigerian passports) and importing equipment used for spreading hate messages via Radio Biafra. Moral: the judiciary will not offer refuge to corrupt or un-disciplined people.

Unemployed Nigerians may be paid the N5, 000 stipend promised by the APC, but the beneficiaries may have to work for it on farms, he stated. Moral: gird your loins, unemployed people.

The president denied he had marginalised the Igbo — not even in the appointments he has made, he said, because the CBN governor (Godwin Emefiele), minister of state for petroleum (Dr Ibe Kachikwu) and the ministers of labour (Dr Chris Ngige) and science and technology (Dr Ogbonnaya Onu) are all Igbo.

He emphasised that, to attract foreign investors and create jobs, government must ensure security of life and property.

While a few commentators in the social media have praised the president for his honest answers during the chat, many have attacked him, especially for indicating that free money would not be given to the unemployed as his party promised during electioneering.

Nigeria hopes to spend N6trillion in the 2016 fiscal year. How the budget would be funded remains a mystery, with oil prices falling even below the $38 per barrel benchmark.

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