Below are four paragraphs below from the speech of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the 2021 Sardauna Memorial Lecture Saturday, March 27th, 2021 at Arewa House in Kaduna where he was the Chairperson. They cannot but have been designed to appeal to his audience at the occasion via-a-vis his much talked about 2023 presidential ambition
But, Tinubu cannot be grandstanding in saying these since his intention is a non-issue in terms of the meaning of what he is saying the moment he was done with vocalizing them. No speaker alone determines the meaning of what s/he says. Is it not the case then that even with the power elite, it is not all of them that are so mindless in leading Nigerians to being ‘the fools of the so-called market economy’, to paraphrase the late Adamu Ciroma.
It makes one want to ask how it happened that Tinubu is effortlessly and consistently (Tinubu said similar stuff at an earlier Bala Usman memorial) saying the sort of things Atiku Abubakar, for instance, should have been saying in the run up to the February 2019 presidential elections?
“The development of any populous nation has always been dependent on the ability of government to allocate sufficient funds to projects and programs that create and encourage enduring growth and employment. We must reject that mode of thinking that assumes government expenditure is inherently unproductive as well as harmful to the overall economy”
“Fiscal wisdom but not necessarily austerity is required for an economy like ours in a time like this, to ensure equitable wealth redistribution and meaningful use of resources. The years have shown that the private sector is much too weak to spur the growth we need. If the private sector could manage this feat, it would have already done so. Where the private sector is too weak or unable, the government must fill the void. This means government must not be afraid to embark on an activist fiscal policy to create jobs, build infrastructure and develop our industrial sector as well as continue to improve agriculture. This means government must spend money but spend it on those things that bring the requisite economic returns for the nation”
“Here, government must implement a national industrial policy to encourage key industries that begin to employ this growing urban work force”
“The issue of insecurity, poverty, unemployment and extremism have many things to do with governance, over time. At bottom we must tackle our deep and widespread poverty. If we limit government’s role under the erroneous assumption that government spending is intrinsically unproductive then we tether ourselves to failure. We would do well to more critically study how other populous nations such as the UK, US, Germany and China charted their course during their formative years. You will see that they did not adhere to small government or the purportedly free market. Government engaged in massive spending on infrastructure and education while also engaging in policies that protected industrial development and key aspects of the agricultural sector. Only when they matured and held advantages over other nations, did the UK and US begin to champion free markets and small government. We would do well to understand this history and learn what it means for our own pursuit of development”