Xenophobia: Nigerian don in South Africa sets agenda for senate delegation

Written by Maritime First
  • As Soludo says Buhari inherited a bad economy, made it worse

A South Africa-based Nigerian don, Prof. Chris Isike, on Thursday urged the Senate delegation to South Africa to help promote  good governance  to discourage  Nigerians from travelling abroad.

Isike, a professor of African politics at the  University of Zululand, Kwazulu Natal Province, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on phone from Mpangeni, South Africa,  that good governance would encourage Nigerians to earn a living in their own country.

The senate delegation’s  proposed visit  to South Africa is coming on the heels of the recent xenophobic  attacks against Nigerians and other nationals in that country.

Isike  said sending the  Sen. Ike Ekweremadu`s led delegation to that country was in order as  it would give Nigerians  a sense of belonging.

“ The delegation must assure Nigerians here in South Africa  that when it  gets  back home, it will strive to promote good governance.

“ A lot of people have left the country because they are tired of  bad governance and corruption.

“  Many Nigerians have no business being here. But when they return home, they should see democracy at work with its attendant benefits,” he said.

Isike, who is also the Chairman of Mpangeni Ward chapter of Nigeria Union, said that with improved electricity supply, small businesses would grow.

“ This development, I assure you will make many Nigerians return and start small businesses,” he said.

The don urged the delegation to ensure that  the South African government acknowledged  that a  larger percentage of Nigerians in that country were doing well and contributing positively to the economy.

He said  this  was important in order  to correct the impression being created in the media that Nigerians were largely involved in crime.

Isike also said the delegation must  give Nigerians in South Africa  an assurance of government`s backing and protection.

In the meantime, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari had worsened the “very bad” economic situation he inherited when he assumed power in 2015.

Soludo spoke at the ‘Big Ideas Podium’, a public policy debate organised by the Afri Heritage Institution in Enugu, where he canvassed what he termed a “citizens united” campaign by Nigerians to demand change and accountability from government at all levels.

Besides Soludo, other speakers at the inaugural edition of the Big Ideas Podium were a former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke; a former Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Prof. Osita Ogbu; and a member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Board, Prof. Akpan Ekpo.

Speaking on the theme of the debate, ‘Prognosis of the Nigerian Economy 2017’, Soludo said Nigeria was fast approaching the status of a failed state.

The former apex bank chief noted that it would take nothing short of a miracle for the Federal Government to return the naira to its exchange rate to the dollar as of the time Buhari took over on May 29, 2015.

He said, “Buhari met a very bad situation when he assumed power, but he has made the situation worse. Nigeria today is a fragile state with a failing economy. Some say failing state; some say failed state.

“The economy is not just in recession; we are suffering from massive economic compression. Saying it is recession trivialises the issue.

“It will be a miracle if after eight years, by the time it leaves office in 2023, the current administration is able to return the economy in dollar terms to the exchange rate it met when it took over.

“The truth is this government inherited a very bad situation, but it has made it very much worse.”

He criticised what he described as the “official policy of waiting for the oil price to rise.”

NAN with additional report from Punch

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