EndSARS: Don urges government move beyond palliative measures

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By Rukayat Moisemhe

Lagos, Oct. 25, 2020 A university don, Dr Benjamin Omoniyi has expressed concerns over the palliative measures embarked upon by the government to aid rebound the economy.

Omoniyi, a lecturer at Economics Department, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Arakeji, Osun in an interview with newsmen on Sunday in Lagos said it may not be sufficient enough to move it to buoyancy.

He was speaking against the backdrop of the challenges of putting the economy on its feet post-COVID-19 and a devastating EndSARS protest.

According to Omoniyi, who is also a developmental economist, to drive the economy to sustainability, the government must focus on issues of national importance.

He said these issues, also emanating from the closure of the economy for about six months, included inflationary trends and low purchasing power of the citizens.

Omoniyi said some of the excesses in the simmering EndSARS protest, including looting and vandalisation, may not be unconnected to the state of the economy and the feeling of hopelessness among some citizens.

He listed other challenges facing the economy to include the partial closure of the nation’s borders and the recent hike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Noting the various interventions of the government, through the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), Omoniyi stated that the palliative measure was not enough to drive the economy to its feet of survival or sustainability.

According to him, the purpose of the palliative may not turn positive without government’s monitoring or proper control.

He said the government needed to ensure that the palliatives were adequately used for productive economic activities by the beneficiaries who are the entrepreneurs.

The university don said that the government must also introduce policies that would encourage integration of the fund into manufacturing, trade and commerce concerns that may propel the economy toward expansion and growth.

“Government should also ensure that the fund meant for the palliative is not hijacked by the executors, the rich or non-entrepreneurs so that the fund reaches the real investors to have positive effect or impact on the economy.

“This will allow reduction in commodity prices and thereby increase the purchasing power of the people, which subsequently improves the standard of living of the people.

“Aside, this would encourage more patronage for Nigerian products and increase in employment of both material and human resources.

“The achievement of these measures will require incentives to the enterprise in the form of lowering taxes for local entrepreneurs, the use of local contents by both multinational corporations and local entrepreneurs.

“This will further create side employment for the development of subsidiary firms that may make use of residuals of larger firms,” he said.

Omoniyi urged entrepreneurs, on their part, to invest the palliative into the economy to generate employment, stimulate demand, and impact the populace through income generation and improved earnings.

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