December 8, 2022

Okupe Proposes Economic Imperatives For Post COVID19

4 min read

The former Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe has proposed some Economic imperatives for Post COVID19

Okupe who took to his Facebook page on Wednesday said that the Federal Government should give out grants with minimum of N25000 each to over 37m registered MSMEs to jumpstart their businesses.

Excerpt is the full text of the Facebook post:

My feelings for the finance minister is “Sweet & Sour” Sometimes I am in sync with her on policies and pronouncements, sometimes i am not. Many times she is right and quite often very blunt for a public official.
Recently she was quoted as saying that Nigeria will certainly go into recession post covid19.
I believe she deserves a National Merit Award for this absolute TRUTH.
The question is what do we do? How do we manage it? Our citizens are on edge. We have the highest number of the poor in the world. Crime and insecurity are at their highest levels ever. The nation and its nationalities are in a subdued war situation!!! It is not certain if government can handle any major conflagration from any parts of the country if it erupts.
If we must survive it’s not with our present mentality and attitude to governance. THE PEOPLE must now take centre stage over bogus elitist budgets of the past which only benefits the super-rich, we elites, expatriate collaborators, government officials and civil servants. I am very very sorry to say that the recent budget review was nothing but a window dressing. It does not recognize the danger knocking at the door. It’s like a blind man’s prescription for a traffic deadlock.
We must all roll our sleeves and go back to the drawing board. The survival of the country and its very existence will be seriously challenged in the coming months.
The rich, the high and the mighty, the poor are all unsafe and cannot be protected should a cataclysm erupt. God forbid.
BELOW ARE MY RANDOM THOUGTHS. THEY ARE NOT SACROSANCT BUT CERTAINLY THEY POINT OUT THE GENERAL DIRECTIONS WE MAY NEED TO PURSUE TO SAVE OUR GREAT NATION.
Nigeria has 37m registered MSMEs. 90% are SMEs. The latter’s working capital is usually N50, 000 or less. All these monies have been used to hang on to life during the various lockdowns. If nothing is done directly to support them the number of the poor amongst us will simply double. That will be about 160m poor in total. This is because each of these SMEs employs 1 or 2 helping hands and they also feed 3 or 4 others.
POST COVID19 WE MUST FIND MONEY IN FORM OF GRANTS FOR THEM. Minimum is N25000 each to jumpstart their businesses. N25000 in 37m places is N925B.
The second group is those who are simply poor. Their
wretchedness have been worsened by the covid19 saga. They are probably anywhere between 50m and 80m people. They are difficult to identify. But where there is commitment, government can reach them through Banks, state and local governments, traditional institutions, unions and cooperatives. It is a laborious task but it can be done and with some measure of transparency .
We can target 25m which is between 30% to 50% of the estimated poor in this category.
A budget of N20,000 each will come to about N500B.
From the above the nation needs immediately about N1.5trillion to reflate the economy and empower the highest labour employing group in the country and also protect a sizable percentage of its poor from severe adversity.
WHERE WILL N1.5TRILLION COME FROM IN THIS ECONOMY?

1.Remove 20% from FAAC allocations(about 400 to 500B) monthly for 6 months. We will save about N500B.
2.Cut recurrent expenditure in 2020 budget(4.84 trillion) by 20%. We will save N1trillion.
Cut 10% of capital (2.78 tr) that saves N278B
3.introduce special petroleum tax of N5 per liter. We consume 50mL per day. In 12months we save N90B.
4.Stop school feeding program immediately and divert whatever remains to this special funds.
5. Stop the renovation of the national assembly and divert the money to this special funds.
6.Federal government should deduct 30% from revenues accruing from all parastarals in the TSA accounts and add to this funds.
7. Banks, high employing institutions, oil companies and enterprises who agree not to lay off staff should be offered 15 -20% tax rebate for 2yrs.
In my view the above may not necessarily represent all the answers to our post covid19 economic quagmire but is a pointer to government about some of the options available and that for the first time in over 60yrs of existence as a nation let us put our people, their welfare and wellbeing first above all other considerations.
May the Almighty guide our rulers and give them to lead us aright.
LONG LIVE THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.

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