Tinubu: The Poor Catch Dollar Fever Without Foreign Taste Or Money

Feature Article Tinubu: The Poor Catch Dollar Fever Without Foreign Taste Or Money
FEB 26, 2024 LISTEN

The poor cannot afford foreign food, wear foreign designer clothes or use foreign goods and services, yet foreign enablers rope them in one way or the other as the victims of Naira devaluation against the almighty dollar. The working class jobs are also threatened unless they get allocation to import raw materials. How did importers of junks turn the dollar into local currency for basic needs?

The continual fall of the naira has taken a new turn since the advent of the duly new elected government that cannot put a stop to it. Protests have grown louder, even among those that have never protested before now. It has taken on a new spirit as the continuation of the last campaign. But just as Americans complain and protest against the price of gas (petrol), which is cheaper there than other Western countries, so can Nigerians on cheaper goods at home.

The fact that Nigeria remains one of the cheapest places to buy food and do business with cheap labor is besides the point right now. What is true is that Nigerian businesses smuggle cheaper food, petroleum and other goods to neighboring countries. Sell them at higher prices without paying taxes in both countries. These saboteurs come back home and fund protests to undermine the man that outsmart them and defeat them at the polls.

Regardless of the right to shout and cry of hunger, there are saboteurs at work doing everything they can to encourage chaos. They hate the same Tinubu they conspired with to overthrow the only lady Speaker, Olubunmi Etteh, so much. They are now willing to pave the way for the Military Takeover. We had military governments. Experience demonstrated that they are more corrupt and worse than civilian governments. They retire into civilian clothes as Presidents.

This Tinubu Government never had a honeymoon period for a day. Everything, justifiably or not, has been blamed on him, not only by his opponents but by those that voted for him in the last Election. It has always been a matter of time before the last straw breaks the camel's back. Many people always look for the opportune time and place to cry out for revolt as long as their kin is not the President.

President Tinubu, who won clean and fair, comes from an ethnic group that have always been known as protesters against any or their own leaders when it comes to Injustice. This is unlike other ethnic groups in the Country when their own sons were in Power. Indeed, Tinubu was a member of NADECO that protested against Abacha, the brutal army dictator, to a standstill. Every dog has its day for accountability.

After Abacha, Tinubu took on President Obasanjo, by creating more local government in one of the most populous states. Obasanjo suspended Lagos State Allocation for many months. Yet, Lagos State survived. What was noteworthy about this was that both Tinubu and Obasanjo belong to the same ethnic group. Apart from Aminu Kanu, we've never seen this within the same ethnic group in Nigeria because they always follow their Presidents.

Nevertheless, Yoruba do not shield their reservation about Tinubu's character. This was the reason he lost both his home and adopted states in the Presidential Election. Honest Nigerians realize none of the three Presidential candidates in the last Election deserve to lead a country but only Yoruba would vote and say that about Tinubu. The other ethnic groups supported their own blemished Presidential candidates.

Tinubu removed subsidies from refined petrol and byproducts imported to resurrect local refineries that lay idle. This has generated mixed reactions, even from the poor that do not drive but depend on private and public transportation. The working class at checkpoints pay private taxes to Agbero, Police or Army. As the dollar appreciates against naira, these collectors adjust 20 naira to 200, more depending on the locations. Anything less than 500 naira is frowned on.

So, why are those Yoruba who had their reservations about Tinubu supporting him now? The hypocrisy of supporters of Atiku and Obi stinks to high heavens. While they all campaigned on removal of Petrol Subsidy, they are against Tinubu for doing exactly what they all campaigned on. Oh, they could have done it differently. Just to generate more hatred for Tinubu.

Tinubu and all the Presidents that came before him are all wrong on the Devaluation or floating of the Naira. No developing country has recovered from floating their currencies or Devaluations. It got worse from the intentional imposition of Structural Adjustments. A country like China only devalues its currency because it has diverse abundant goods and services to export. Nigeria has no diversified exports like China.

Export first, import later to balance up. It is suicidal to devalue or float the naira when we do not have diversity of finished products to export. Yet, Nigerians import garbage from the high seas, import used goods like electronics and clothing. They do this against their country's self-interest because, unlike any other country in the world, we liberalized the local market after the surge of Oil Income during the Arab Oil Embargo of the 70s.

We got away with it until the early 80s because we had had restricted selective imports with a total ban on foreign currencies as local tender. The result of the forced discipline with criminal penalties as a deterrent resulted in a strong Nigerian pound that was equal to the British pound and naira that was one and a half US dollars. Ironically, it is the importers of junks and exporters of little that are crying the loudest about the high cost of the dollars they created.

Since when has Nigeria become the importer of raw materials in order to be an exporter of finished goods? Every foreign manufacturer of finished goods imports their raw materials from Africa. They sell finished goods at ten or more times than the prices they pay for African raw materials. So we wonder what finished goods these African manufacturers export from the raw materials they claim are needed into the country?

As some pray that when they come back to this world, they want to be Nigerian, some Nigerians claimed their country is a zoo or shithole before other foreigners tagged on and echoed them! Yet, every foreign country thinks Nigeria is the place to make a great deal of money, as long as you can hold your nose. Nigerians are known to export what we do not have or print like US dollars and import what we have like petroleum.