Connect with us

Headlines News

Nigeria will fare better if Osinbajo is elected president – Financial Times



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo delivering a speech at KADINVEST 6.0 in Kaduna State

Financial Times Newspaper has posited that Nigeria will fare better if Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is elected president in the 2023 general elections.

In an Op-Ed by David Pilling published yesterday, the writer reckoned that although all Nigeria’s problems will not go away, the election of a technocrat will put Nigeria on the right track.

Pilling noted that, “There are some promising candidates. If Yemi Osinbajo, the technocratic vice-president, were miraculously to make it through the campaign thicket and emerge as president, the hearts of Nigerian optimists would beat a little faster.

“But that may be to underestimate the depth of Nigeria’s quagmire. The problem is not so much who leads the government as the nature of government itself,” he added.


Prof. Osinbajo is yet to declare his intentions to contest the 2023 presidential election despite calls from groups and politicians.

According to Pilling, it takes an estimated $2bn to get a president elected in Nigeria, stressing that, “Those who pay will expect to be paid back.”

President Muhammadu Buhari is keen to revamp Nigeria's healthcare sector

President Muhammadu Buhari

The writer then did a critique of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, noting that, “Buhari has overseen two terms of economic slump, rising debt and a calamitous increase in kidnapping and banditry — the one thing you might have thought a former general could control.”

He added that, “Nigeria’s administration is fuelled by oil — though not its economy; more than 90 per cent of output is generated from non-oil activities. But for decades, the business of government — whether military or, since 1999, democratic — has been to control access to oil revenues and earn patronage by spreading petrol-dollars to federal and state supplicants.

“Outside oil, government raises a petty amount of revenue, proportionally much less than other African states. Since the provision of services is so dire, no one who can afford to pay taxes is willing to do so. Nigerians with money opt out of the system. They send their kids to private school, attend private hospitals, employ their own private security and generate their own power. The state borrows ever more heavily to fund what little capital expenditure there is and service mounting debts. Like a giant leech at the top of the body politic, government is essentially there to fund itself.

“This thwarts the aspirations of millions of highly capable Nigerians. Officials extract “rent” by controlling access to business opportunities. The objective thus becomes to slow down investment not speed it up.


“Almost all the energy, drive and wealth creation in Nigeria happens outside government. New unregulated businesses in the booming tech sector, fashion, design and the creative arts are flourishing. Every day, tens of millions of Nigerians somehow get by, despite the efforts of those supposedly looking out for them.

“As is said of India, Nigeria grows at night while the government sleeps — hardly surprising that some libertarian tech entrepreneurs want the government to withdraw and leave the private sector in charge.

“In reality, the government is not too big. It is too small. The federal budget — not counting money transferred to states — is about $30bn, derisory for a population of more than 200m people. Only trust in government — and a willingness to pay taxes — can redress this balance.

“Nigeria desperately needs an administration whose energies go not into preserving its own privilege but into providing public goods — basic education and health, rule of law, security, power, roads and digital infrastructure. It must remove distortions and subsidies that direct entrepreneurial activity from production to arbitrage.


“The chances of a corrupt system reforming itself are slim. But if Nigeria’s ruling class cannot manage it, any remaining faith Nigerians have in their system of government will evaporate. That way lies disaster.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2016 - 2022 ChronicleNG