• Monday, April 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Tinubu did not do enough homework before announcing reforms – Daramola

Tinubu did not do enough homework before announcing reforms – Daramola

Tunde Daramola is a pharmacist and former national executive member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In this exclusive interview with INIOBONG IWOK, he spoke on the state of the nation and the spate of insecurity in the country. Excerpts:

There was a protest by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over the cost of living last week. What is your take?

People don’t have faith with the labour leaders again; if labour allows the people to take over without their direction only God knows who can save the country. For now, people don’t believe them anymore; Nigerians think they are talking about stomach infrastructure alone. God help Nigeria because the labour leaders are just hobnobbing with the President and we saw them at the Climate conference in Dubai. What concerns them about the Climate conference? The NLC leaders must sit up, for now they are not representing the people. Those people are for stomach infrastructure alone, for the past nine months that the administration assumed office, nothing has been done for the people. The minimum wage is still N30, 000 and some states are now even paying. In Nigeria right now there is poverty, instability and insecurity. The masses and workers do not have the confidence of labour, you have to be serious about getting something for the workers. What can they do with the little salary they are currently earning? If there is high inflation, the President should increase the salary of workers in Nigeria, I said some months ago that the minimum wage should be about N300, 000 per month.

If inflation has eaten everything including the reform the government has put forward, there should be structural reform that would take care of the people. Salary has to go up from the present N30, 000 to N300, 000. The labour people should be serious with the government; we do not need a breakdown of the system in the country.

President Tinubu has directed the implementation of Oronsaye’s report, is this step in the right direction?

The report takes care of wastages, what I would recommend as a Nigerian is that the administration has to be a success for Nigeria to be successful. All the naira the Tinubu’s administration has made from the reform must be channelled to making the moribund refineries work. They are not functioning now. Secondly, all the governors collected palliative money, for me it is just money for the boys, maybe only one or two gave something to the masses. Tinubu must face palliative in a different manner. Giving palliative to poor people should be channelled through the bank; if he has excess of naira instead of padding allowance to legislators, bribing judges and increasing their allowances people should benefit. I suggest he uses banks to give money to people; I don’t know who is going to help him with that. The right thing to do is to help Nigerians come out of this suffering, which is too much.

Is Tinubu’s reforms responsible for the bad economy?

It is one thing to win an election and another thing is to be successful in implementing policies that would impact the people. This administration did not do enough homework before announcing the economic reforms. It was just talk and it was cheap. You removed the subsidy and now you have introduced us to another level of suffering, the plan was inadequate or there was no plan. They were carried away by the euphoria of the victory just like they did in Lagos. Back then in Lagos they did not do anything miraculous, just that they made things very expensive. They multiply tax, where people are renting houses at 10 per cent, they increased it to 50 per cent. They only increased poverty and misery for the people of Lagos.

Are you satisfied with the performance of the Ministers so far?

I cannot castigate any Ministers or agencies; the economic team has to go back to the drawing board because it cannot work just like they said they did in Lagos. There is high inflation, but what I am saying is that the situation on the ground demands a new approach to the water they have polluted. The economic team has to go back to the drawing board; there is high inflation in Lagos and misery. The situation demands a new approach.

The Tinubu administration is working to have state police, is that a step in the right direction?

They should be the one talking about community police, what we need is not state police alone, I’m surprised they are only talking about state police.

We need community policing, local government policing that is what is required now. Let us hope the same problem that bedevilled the state police would allow state police to work. Personally, what is needed is local government police and state police jointly. Bola Tinubu studied in the United States for his university, he should understand better. I would want the lawmakers to work with the legislative arm to make sure this is possible.

Is the administration doing enough to check the spate of insecurity?

It cannot be fought with an empty stomach; I don’t care where they are going to get the food from because people cannot go to their farm because it is not secure. The other option is food importation to help curtain the situation now. There have to be multiple approaches toward solving the problems of the country if we are to get out of our current problems.

Also, power is crucial, we hear much about generating plants. I hope they function; this administration should try if it’s only 10- or 12-hour power should be given to people, so that people in cottage industries can know when to do their business. What is presently happening requires a state of emergency in order for this administration to move this country forward. All this propaganda they are chasing shadows; stop blaming PDP, ASSU and Labour for your problem, it only shows they did not do their homework properly.

The deputy governor of Edo State has vowed to work against the party after he lost out in the primary. What is your take?

Democracy is about freedom of choice if the people don’t want him he cannot force himself on the people. If he likes to let him go and sit in his house, is it because he did not win the ticket, he wants to sabotage the system? Democracy is about freedom of choice; let him respect what the people are saying. Nigerians should not be run on a turn-by-turn basis, I know we have ‘emilokan’, public office should be who can deliver to the people. The country is so endowed people should stop giving us excuses that Buhari messed up. I heard the news some days ago where they talked about how the way and ways and means committee money went up so high, it is shameful, they are part of the problem of Nigeria. If Tinubu is serious he should restructure the country, but I am not sure he would be willing to do that.