Monday, 08 July 2024 04:45

Tinubunomics as witchcraft economism - Ahmed Aminu-Ramatu Yusuf

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Ahmed Aminu-Ramatu Yusuf Ahmed Aminu-Ramatu Yusuf

Witchcraft is the exercise or invocation of alleged supernatural powers, typically involving sorcery, magic, incantations, manipulation and deception to control people or events. With the collaboration of people and egregore of inferior astral, witchcraft influences the world of the living.

Witchcraft practitioners manipulate people, create dubious fantasies, mystify realities, and propagate Eldorado to their victims. The lower astral entities feed on human energy, and in return, their human collaborators get wealth, power and fame, which are destructive to society and humanity.

Tinubunomics, in concrete reality, is witchcraft-economism. Its advocates have been desperately trying to present it as President Bola Tinubu’s “economic philosophy and policies”. But there is nothing original or new about Tinubunomics! It is the continuation of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) neo-liberalism in Nigeria. This is what different Nigerian governments have been implementing since 1984.

What is “new” about Tinubunomics is its uncritical, slavish, aggressive and reckless implementation of this neoliberalism.

The ground for Tinubunomics was secured during the prolonged years of military despotism (1984-1999). The despots could not aggressively implement neoliberalism, primarily because of the organised power of democratic and progressive students, workers, academics, journalists, market people, and lawyers. These forces stubbornly resisted neoliberalism. Besides, the despots, as brutal cowards, were afraid of being disgraced out of power.

The Obasanjo and Jonathan administrations cleared the ground for the emergence of Tinubunomics. President Olusegun Obasanjo capitalised on the popular sentiments against military despotism to do so. Major leaders of the Labour Movement collaborated with his government to implement neoliberalism. Further, the Student Movement, led by degenerate student-politicians, aligned with politicians to subvert democracy and development.

The extremely inept, insensitive, divisive and disastrous government of President Muhammadu Buhari fertilized the ground for the germination of Tinubunomics. Tinubunomics in fact sprouted and immediately began flowering from 29 May, 2023.

Just as witchcraft incantations sound poetic, so does Tinubunomics. It poetizes that the harsh operating environment of the manufacturing and other productive sectors, will be eliminated. That agriculture will be promoted. Raw materials scarcity will be eradicated. High interest rates will be reduced! Multiple taxation will be abolished. High energy costs will be reduced.

Reckless borrowing will be checked. Forex illiquidity will be tackled. Access to capital will be ensured. Steady power will be ensured. Corruption will be fought. Insecurity will be checked. State-owned refineries will be operational. Infrastructure will be developed. Nigeria’s foreign affairs will be subordinated to national interests!

Tinubunomics, like witchcraft, involves lying to clients. Which was why it promised creating “prosperity for all”, especially for the youth, who are “Nigeria’s most important asset”. It posited that inclusivity, training, skills acquisition, entrepreneurship, free education up to secondary level, and affordable higher education will be given adequate attention. That food supply, security and affordability will be ensured. Poverty alleviated, if not eliminated. Health and social security safeguarded. Employment created. In fact, that “50 million jobs” will not only be created. “Living wage” will be paid, as it is “not only good economics … [but] also a morally and politically correct thing to do”.

But grammar is one thing, reality is another. Within a year, Tinubunomics increased petrol pump price by over 194.5 per-cent; diesel by 67.6 per cent and electricity tariff by 330.8 per cent. Naira was devalued by 220.4 per cent. Inflation rate was 31.15 per cent; and food inflation, 37.52 per cent. Also, interest rates rose from 18 to 26.25 per-cent; public debt increased by 11.4 per cent; and foreign reserve decreased by 11.4 per cent.

The Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) disclosed that about 767 manufacturers shut down operations in 2023 alone. Additionally, 335 companies were distressed financially. Market instability, unfulfilled promises, breaches of contract, foreign exchange market, and general economic instability were said to be mainly responsible. The Tinubu administration absorbed itself. Assuming for the sake of argument, this claim were true, didn’t he promise his government would right the wrongs?

Just as witchcraft insist on sacrifices and patience, so Tinubunomics insist that workers should sacrifice for the nation. Workers are, accordingly, being pressurised to technically accept a decreased National Minimum Wage (NMW) by accepting N60,000 (US$40). The current average take-home pay of the organised private sector is N70,000, that of federal workers N77,000, and Edo State workers, N70,000.

Corruption and primitive accumulation continue, notwithstanding the Tinubunomics rhetorics on economic engagement, anti-corruption, transparency, accountability, answerability, rule of law, and the promises of delivering effective, efficient and cheap services. It is hemorrhaging Nigeria into indebtedness, bankruptcy, and de-industrialisation. It is deepening the culture of despotism, weakening state capacity to deliver services to the citizens, and broadening state-society alienation.

Tinubunomics, contrary to its lyrics, is bleeding the working and other vulnerable people by enthroning more hunger, poverty, illiteracy and diseases. It is destroying family and societal cohesion by increasing unemployment, straining relationships, delaying or aborting marriages, promoting single parenthood, and inflicting hardship on Nigerian children and youth. All these, for the wealth, power and fame of imperialists and their Nigerian allies.

Tinubunomics is not just witchcraft-economism; it is also witchcraft-politicism. It speaks tirelessly from both sides of the mouth; endlessly makes promises but hardly fulfills any; religiously elevates propaganda as governance; and habitually tries to mystify reality. It passionately talks of democracy but promotes praise-singing, political entrism and suppression of opposition, even within its ranks! It glorifies press freedom but arrests and illegally detains journalists for simply doing their jobs!

As is typical of witchcraft-politicism, Tinubunomics throws palliatives at workers and other vulnerable people. Palliatives which further enslaves, dehumanizes and depersonalizes the poor by promoting dependency on the witches/wizards, discouraging innovation, encouraging laziness, eroding self-sufficiency, and destroying peoples’ initiatives to creatively and sustainably tackle their problems. It also divides the vulnerable, as well as weaken their power, solidarity, empathy and struggles. Tinubunomics, therefore, is a nomics, which is undemocratic, anti-democratic, anti-development, and anti-justice.

But witchcraft is impotent on the crowd. It is thus bound to generate resistance from the ground. It will surely propel and accelerate the struggle for progress, democracy, development and social justice. In June 2024, it happened to Rutonomics in Kenya, where the Gen Z forces led a popular uprising for democracy and progress.

The factors and forces necessary for igniting popular uprising are in Nigeria – flourishing and flowering for that matter. Besides, the Nigerian students have a history of organising, struggles, and a culture of resistance. So notwithstanding the control of the students’ movement by hedonist student-politicians, anything can happen!

Tinubu should, therefore, completely negate Tinubunomics by totally discarding IMF and WB neoliberalism. His administration should religiously pursue a Nigerian-made and driven development plan like those of the 1960s and 70s. It should, as a matter of necessity, importance and urgency, fully implement “Chapter Two” of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, which, amongst others, states that: “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”

** Ahmed Aminu-Ramatu Yusuf worked as deputy director, Cabinet Affairs Office, The Presidency, and retired as General Manager (Administration), Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NiMet). Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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