Difficulty: Adebayo’s report on the results of the Nigerian election

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As the country struggles under the economic policies of President Bola Tinubu, Prince Adewole Adebayo, a presidential candidate for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2023 elections, claims that he would have done a better job if Nigerians had given him the chance to be president. The policies that have caused unimaginable suffering to Nigerians were pledged by President Tinubu during his campaign, according to Prince Adebayo, who made the observation that Nigerians were getting exactly what they expected in an interview with DAILY POST. A few passages!

You allegedly claimed you could improve upon the present policies put in place by President Tinubu’s administration. In light of everything that has happened recently, what is your opinion?

Despite my disappointment, I am not shocked by the current situation. I should not be surprised because we anticipated this result. No matter who you nominate, this is what will happen if you implement these policies. While we were discussing these topics, we were urging Nigerians to pay close attention.

We were tasked with handling three policies. Concerning the matter of governance expense, what shall we do? Subsidy in petroleum and many other industries is a major problem; what should we do about it? When it comes to currency, what are our options?

It was obvious to me that President Bola Tinubu’s, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s, and former governor Peter Obi’s policies would fail on these three fronts, and I fundamentally disagree with them. It has failed in every nation it has been tried. Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) that were previously undertaken in Nigeria were also unsuccessful. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a matter of morality. Nothing will change if you take me to the villa or Eagle Square and make me declare these policies against my will. This outcome is universally reproducible if these regulations are implemented.

If you were to ask economists if any nations in our hemisphere or in our level of development or with a primary production sector similar to ours have announced similar plans and seen results, I would be surprised if they found any.

It caught me off guard that a few famous people were bringing up the Argentina model. When it comes to models, I know all about Argentina. The typical Argentine will urge you to take Bola Tinubu and leave Javier Milei if you ask them to choose between the two presidents.

That is to say, according to your logic, Tinubu should have gone with the Argentina model that Atiku Abubakar suggested.

Even if he means well, Vice President Atiku Abubakar is completely ignorant, in my opinion. This is incorrect. Looking at what’s happening in Argentina could get us to that point. I really hope it doesn’t happen, but we’re heading in that direction anyhow; the only difference is that they’re going through more pain than us. For one month, their inflation rate is 52%. The heat of 52% is beyond the comprehension of economists, I’m afraid. All but a small fraction of their money has gone. Right now, you’re dealing with someone who adheres to Austrian philosophy. Every day, Argentines vent their frustrations at the country’s worst economic performance since 1980. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t criticize President Tinubu’s ineffective APC administration, but it also doesn’t mean we should fix problems by putting people in the oven because they complain about too much sun.

Unfortunately, Nigerians have chosen these policies despite their failure to deliver. It was either a lack of attention or an ignorance of the policy’s consequences that led us to vote for it. If you want to vote for an administration that promised to cut subsidies immediately upon taking office—as President Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi all stated—and we disregarded their promises—but maybe they were more pragmatic and experienced than us. Therefore, it is how they cast their ballot.

Those who were a part of the government that enacted these policies will, therefore, face the same or worse consequences as us. Regardless of who is making the announcement, these policies are bad for us structurally.

You can see the advantages that come with them, of course. For instance, the government would receive more money as they are no longer subsidizing. Since they are no longer actively protecting the Naira, they are able to reap more financial benefits from the disparity in exchange rates. There are marketed benefits, like goods becoming cheaper, but we aren’t structurally ready for them. That’s why some say Nigeria is exporting goods to Niger and neighboring countries: because our currency is falling, our goods and everything else we produce are cheaper.

You stated that the policies are flawed. I mean, wouldn’t you agree that the country is already in a terrible place and that the current policies are the only way for it to get out of this mess?

All of your hypotheses are incorrect. Reason being, while arguments abound, not all of them go to the heart of the matter. In economics, you’ll always be presented with a minimum of two options and often as many as ten. Approximately 55,000 options are available to us. We settled on a world where improved governance is unnecessary, where the wealthy don’t see their wealth eroded just because you penalize the individual who has donated the least to a political campaign. The subsidy reduction began with the sole product that the people often consume, which is why we are subsidizing it. However, there are many other items that we subsidize in this country.

Additionally, little effort was made to conduct audits. Remember how I campaigned for months on the issue of crude oil theft—that 80 percent of our supply was being taken? Voters apparently didn’t get the message that whomever could stop the theft of crude oil should be the leader of the country. It will not be difficult to resolve our issues. Problems are not insurmountable; what is problematic is that continuing in the same manner will not lead to a solution.

In your opinion, President Tinubu’s economic team is strong.

The type of team he has assembled is ideal for his goals. However, his intended course of action is flawed. We should sell the house if my older brother disagrees with my suggestion that we fix a leaking roof. I would have hired plumbers and carpenters to fix it, but if he has the mandate, he’ll hire auctioneers, valuers, and real estate agents to sell it. His squad is perfect, so I can’t say that anymore. Selling the house is his goal. So, he’s got the correct crew to sell the house, but I’ll bring in a different crew to fix it if I want to.
How would you put an end to the crisis if you were President Tinubu right now?
If I were to assume the presidency on the same day as him, I would refrain from announcing any of those policies. Seriously, I’m going to the national assembly right away to change the appropriations laws and the petroleum industry act so that these statutory demands to cut off the subsidy are obsolete.

My first order of business as president would be to persuade the Nigerian people and government that these policies are wrong if I were to become president today. The president will not listen to my advice if you tell him to wait for the benefits of these programs to materialize; he is already committed to those benefits. Therefore, you should start by persuading him that England was never the beneficiary. Industrialization occurred in England. Before (president) Lula converted them to social investments, Brazil did not receive these benefits. Where exactly they are getting these policies is a mystery to me. My hunch is that it’s coming from the IMF or the bankers who are funding their campaign and are adamant about these policies. However, if they’re truly ideologically dedicated to them, the only way out will be a temporary fix that delays the policies’ full impact.

The societal suffering, inflation, and hyperinflation that they will soon learn about, however, will be so great that their savings might not pay the costs of palliative care. I don’t think Tinubu, who is surrounded by Wale Edun and has selected Cardoso as his preferred Central Bank Governor, is going to change his ways just yet, but they need a change of course. There are five steps they should follow if they feel the need to pursue macroeconomic policies, although in my opinion, they should be a bit more efficient overall.

Since they are only able to gather around 20% of the collectibles at the moment, one of these is that they need to find a way to boost their income. They are reluctant to accept donations since there are so many holy cows.

Second, they should make their accounts more efficient. For the sake of their current and future free market economies, they need to choose sharper and smarter individuals to positions of governance in order to increase feedback, sensitivity, and reaction time. Lastly, they should reorganize government expenditure in a manner that allows them to control fiscal spending independently and empowers the CBN governor to oversee monetary policy and serve as the country’s banker, rather than just the banker to the government.

Additionally, they should look for methods to create jobs. Despite the fact that it is required by the constitution in chapter two, they refuse to fund social programs. They need to spend the sovereign investment money to create jobs, but they are hesitant to do so because they are following the IMF’s lead. As a result, they will be traveling to Qatar and other locations. They will be pleading with international investors to put money into our country, money that is already here, but they will be leaving; if they are inefficient there, they will fail.

Last but not least, they should take action to curb inflation by reigning in expenditure, boosting revenue, and encouraging productivity among Nigerians.

If you were Tinubu, what political move would you make to ease the country’s tensions?

He must assume the role of a patriarch, similar to that of the head of state. When judging the virtuousness of their policies, he should be less haughty. People should be involved more. At the same time, though, it’s important for people to know that you supported these ideas through your vote. The Israelites begged Moses to lead them out of Egypt, but once they reached the wilderness, they began to grumble about how difficult it was. Yeah, that’s very typical. Despite the fact that these policies are bad, the Nigerian people voted for them. In a spirit of humility, the government should reach out to the people, and in a demonstration of social fairness, it should ensure that the less fortunate do not bear the entire brunt of this misery.

Is the president qualified to lead the nation out of its current crisis?

I believe that anybody with a strong desire to improve Nigeria, who is willing to hear the people out, rally behind their cause, and seek out top talent rather than relying solely on political parties will achieve great success. Why did I not back him? Because I would have liked it if Nigerians had voted for me. Compared to him, I believe I would have performed better.

But if given the chance and the will to make the most of Nigeria’s resources, everyone can prosper. The president is obviously a Nigerian; he has a lot of education and is quite bright; nonetheless, his ideas are flawed. He has to stop thinking so narrowly and start listening to other people. Unfortunately, people’s votes will always have repercussions.

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