A national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, says Nigerians are tired of fasting, adding that the Federal Government must introduce a stimulus package rather than preaching austerity.
Tinubu said this at the 12th Bola Tinubu Colloquium held in commemoration of his 69th birthday in Kano on Monday.
Speaking at the event with the theme, ‘Our Common Bond, Our Common Wealth: The Imperative of National Cohesion for Growth and Prosperity,’ the former governor of Lagos said the United States had released a stimulus package of $1.9tn to its citizens and more was on the way, adding that such was the way to go.
He stated, “It is time to put stimulus in place. This is no time for austerity. I hope you listen carefully. This is not the time to constrain the economy. This is the time to create the opportunity.
“If you hear America spending $1.9tn and they are not looking back and they are still asking for $3tn for infrastructure and renewal and creating jobs and your own unemployment rate is 33 per cent and you ask us to keep on fasting. We are not fasting any more.
“We have been fasting for many years. I hope the National Assembly; I hope the President himself will not pay attention to austerity.”
He noted that the high rate of unemployment had made banditry and terrorism attractive to the youths.
He urged the Federal Government to recruit at least 50 million youths into the Nigerian Army to boost Nigeria’s fight against terrorism, banditry and all forms of internal and external security threats confronting the nation.
The APC leader said, “We are under-policed and we are competing with armed robbers and bandits to recruit from the youths who are unemployed – 33 per cent unemployed?” Recruit 50 million youths into the army.”
The APC chieftain, while reacting to statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics that over 23 million Nigerians are jobless, also urged the government to create jobs for youths in the agricultural value chains.
He said, “Don’t talk about illiteracy; anybody who can handle a gun, who can cock and shoot is technically competent to repair a tractor in the farm.”