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Restructuring will save Nigeria after COVID-19, says MBF

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Nigeria can come out stronger from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) if it commences restructuring and battle forces of insecurity that are unleashing bloodshed across the land.

President of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Dr. Pogu Bitrus, said this against the backdrop of the looming bankruptcy staring the country in the face.

Bitrus noted that no nation could develop amid tension and bloodshed.

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“There is no better time than now to commence restructuring of the country as being advocated by prominent regional organisations, including the Middle Belt Forum,” he said.

According to him, it is worrisome that since the present government of President Muhammadu Buhari came to power, it has done too little towards improving the economy but increased the country’s debt burden, concentrating its energy on the importation of refined petroleum products.

His words, “We call on President Buhari to get our best brains to think out of the box to lift our nation from this impending gloom.

“The administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo demonstrated that with good brains and political will, we can always come out stronger.”

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Bitrus said the current state of the nation, occasioned by COVID-19 should serve as an impetus to galvanise the government towards true diversification of the economy.

“The need to open up other sectors of the economy is pertinent and instructive. Instead of lamenting the collapse of oil prices, we should focus on sincerely improving the agric sector and ensuring food security for our citizens.”

He indicated that the Federal Government could not hope with slamming lockdown on people without providing food and essentials.

Challenging government to evolve homegrown strategies towards conquering the global epidemic ravaging the world, Bitrus pointed out that the collapse of oil prices in the international market portends grim days ahead for the economy and survival of the nation.

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“The Federal Government needs to diversify and concentrate on mineral exploitation being carried out in various parts of the country, especially in the Middle Belt.

“We have also been inundated with stories of gold being mined in Zamfara and other states in the North West, which has not added value to the National economy. Also, mineral resources in Taraba, Nasarawa, Plateau and Kogi states have become the exclusive reserve of illegal miners.”

He admonished the government to appropriate all the economic activities at its disposal into the formal sector to increase revenue generation.

“More than anything, this period should provide the country with an opportunity to tackle the various forms of insecurity plaguing our country, especially the Middle Belt Region where communities have been decimated and thousands murdered in cold blood.

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