*Wants Govt To Recover Looted $2.1b Arms Fund
By Ejikeme Omenazu, Lagos
Former bank executive and cleric, Rev. Dr. Tunde Moses Elebute, has called on the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to intervene to save the country’s currency, the Naira, from sliding further to an unreasonable level.
Elebute, an agro-economist and Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Lagos Mainland Province stated that if the government allows the naira to slide further, the trend will adversely affect the nation’s economic development, as cost of production as well as prices of goods and services will skyrocket.
The cleric, who is the General Overseer of the International Christian Faith Mission (ICFM) and a renowned public affairs commentator, urged the CBN governor and his officials “to sit down and do proper analysis of the situation and determine what should be the best exchange rate for the naira.”
According to him, “If the naira continues to fall, the cost of the raw materials will be too high and this will in turn affect the cost of goods and services. Government should not allow only the forces of demand and supply to determine the rate of the naira.”
Elebute urged Nigerians to cultivate the habit if savings and reduce their expenditure, stressing that available indices as well as predictions of men of God showed that 2016 would be a tough year.
He said: “People should save at least 20 per cent of their income. They should save for the rainy day. If people do not save, they are not safe. Nigerians should be prayerful to avert famine,” even as he urged them to pray for the government and the leaders so that the nation would move forward.
On the $2.1 billion arms deal scandal, popularly called Dasukigate, Elebute urged the government to invite everyone named and recover the amount paid to them, even as he stated that those who prove stubborn should be prosecuted so that the law would take its course.
“I want to tell those in government now that there is nothing that can be completely covered. They should be careful of how they use and manage the nation’s resources. They can be called upon to account for how they utilised the nation’s resources.
“Serving the nations is an honour and privilege. They should use their position well so that tomorrow they will not be messed up.”
Elebute urged the government to prosecute all military officers who shared the money meant for the prosecution of the Boko Haram war, adding that such officers should be forced to return the money traced to them.
The cleric stressed that there is the need for spiritual rebirth among Nigerians, adding that education, political and social mobilization had not been able to change to people.