Former Managing Director/CEO of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr Mustapha Chike-Obi, has chided Nigerians political elite who call on Nigerians to make sacrifice but go about in a 30-car convoy, which is a big insult on the populace.
Chike-Obi who is presently the chairman of Fidelity Bank Plc, one of the leading Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in Nigeria however advised that there was nothing wrong if political office holders joined poor Nigerians in making sacrifices by cutting down on their outlandish lifestyle following the tough economic challenges.
The Fidelity Bank chairman who spoke with Arise TV, said poor people should not be the only ones making all the sacrifices while the political elite continue to take undue advantage of the people.
He said, “There is no need for the president or any governor to have 100-car convoy when they are going anywhere. We need to cut governance and make everybody see that the leaders are making sacrifices for this double-digit growth. If we make these sacrifices, we are going to have some breathing room. We need time, between five to 10 years. People are not making sacrifices. They want the poor people to make sacrifices but if you look at the governors and you see them with 30-car convoys, and they live wonderful lives and they fly around in private jets.”
The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of the All Progressive Congress has been pilling all manners of taxes on Nigerians, which has made live in Nigeria unbearable. The government has increased the rate of value-added tax and adjusted petrol and electricity prices. Nigerians have kicked against these actions; accusing the government of being insensitive during a pandemic, which brought with it untold hardship in the country.
It would be recalled that at the time Buhari and the APC mobilized and occupied Nigeria to push out the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) then led by former President Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, things were not this difficult in Nigeria.
According to Chike-Obi, “Double-digit growth is doable, difficult and requires sacrifice from every sector of the economy, starting at the top. Look at the fight to death over the governorship of Edo. Edo is an average state, but they are fighting to death of the governorship because the rewards of being a governor are so high. We should make the rewards much less attractive so that the people that do it do it for love of country, not for the benefits they are going to get.
“Symbolically, all people in government should make Nigerians aware that they are making sacrifices. They’ve cut their salaries, entourages and such. Those things don’t amount to much, but they are symbolic. National assembly should make symbolic gestures to show Nigerians that we are all in this together. They are not doing that.”