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A group, known as the south-east south-south professionals of Nigeria, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a three-year state of emergency on the nation’s economy following the economic challenges experienced in the country.
The group’s president, Emeka Ugwu-Oju, made the call on Thursday March 31 in an interview with journalists shortly after leading a delegation to meet Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo behind closed doors at the presidential villa, Abuja, The Punch reports.
Ugwu-Oju, advised Buhari to consult with the National Assembly to commence the process of the declaring a state of emergence on the nation’s economy.
He said the bad state of the economy necessitated such a move, adding that Nigerians should not view the current state of the economy as something that will go away soon.
“On the current state of the economy, we strongly suggested and advised that Mr. President, as a matter of urgency in consultation with the National Assembly, declare a three-year state of emergency on the economy,” he said.
“This is not about APC and PDP; it is something that is non-partisan. Our economy is bad and people should realise that because we are making it seem like is something that will go away.
“We were having $100 a barrel and now we might not have $50 a barrel in the next three years and we have to factor it in. “This issue of fuel scarcity is a typical example of what has happened, we didn’t plan for it before, we now have to get every citizen not a question of Mr. Bad or Mr. Good, the total leadership has to realise that all Nigerians have to come together, we have to roll up our sleeves so that everyone has a role to play.”
He urged all Nigerians, especially the political class to be ready to make sacrifices in the face of the current economic challenges, noting that state governors and ministers among other top government officials must learn to travel in economy class while flying.
“We have to sacrifice. It is not just the poor that should be sacrificing alone. For example, I see no reason why any minister, governor or whoever should be traveling outside Economy Class.
“We have to show that things are bad. You can’t tell me things are bad and I see you drinking champagne, flying first class or private jet, same goes for the private sector.
“These were the things we tried to make the Vice-President know and then communicate. We had a good engagement and as you know he is very intelligent, very hardworking, very cerebral and we are happy he is the Vice-President of the country,” he added.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate activation of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) signed by Nigeria with the Israel in 2013.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Celestine Ogugua, spokesman for the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC). It stated that the NCPC boss, Mr John-Kennedy Opara, disclosed this at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja before the departure of pilgrims from Niger, Kaduna and Adamawa states to the holy land.