• Short Summary

    Nigeria's new leader, General Mohammed Buhari, outlined his social and economic policies on January 5.Speaking at his first news conference five days after assuming power in a bloodless coup, the general said priority would be given to clearing the backlog of foreign debt while improving the lot of the ordinary people.He confirmed that his government would pursue negotiations for a 2.5 billion US dollar loan from the IMF (International Monetary Fund), started by the ousted civilian government of President Shehu Shagari.He said the money was needed to bail Nigeria out of a severe economic crisis caused by a slump in the country's main export, oil.About 90 per cent of Nigeria's foreign earnings come from oil.Earlier, General Buhari said economic mismanagement had prompted his takeover, and that Nigerians had to watch helplessly as President Shagari's government mishandled the economic crisis, causing high inflation.He said promised economic improvements were applied inadequately and imported food supplies to supplement domestic output were hoarded by corrupt officials or sold at very high prices.General Buhari also condemned the previous system of import licenses, allotted, he said, by favour, and not to the manufacturers and genuine importers who needed them.He said the people had been misled by the government and criticised it for failing to deal firmly with rising crime.General Buhari has also confirmed that Nigeria would remain a member of OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Export Countries), and hinted he would accept a devaluation of the currency, the naira if the IMF loan was given.

  • Description

    GV & SVs General Mohammed Buhari speaks at news conference. (SOT) (5 SHOTS)

    BUHARI: (SEQ 1) "The Nigerian armed forces fulfilled their promise to end thirteen years of military rule in 1979 when they voluntarily handed over the reigns of power to the civilians. The essentials of good government, as seen by the people of this country, were contained in the provisions of the suspended 1979 constitution, particularly chapter 11 thereof which relates to the fundamental objectives and direct principles of state policy. However, the Nigerian people watched helplessly, while over the succeeding four-year-period of the first term of the (indistinct) administration, most government of the federation failed to provide even the minimum of good government. The otherwise buoyant economy of the first two fiscal years 1979-1980, in 1980, was allowed to run down through mismanagement. Not only were there inadequate response to the global recession caused by the worldwide oil glut and the oil production crisis which beset OPEC member countries, but measures designed to curb Nigeria's vulnerability to the vagaries of oil markets were applied in half-hearted manner. The monetary and fiscal measures introduced under Economies Stabilisation Act 1982 to boost local production of goods, improve foreign exchange results, and make the economy more self-sufficient and self-reliant, were not implemented in manner in which they could have had their desired effect. The promised imported food items to supplement the shortfall in agricultural production were not fulfilled for the benefit of the people. What quantities brought in were either diverted, hoarded, or sold at prices beyond the reach of the ordinary man."

    BUHARI (speech continued).... The administration of the import licensing system was so corrupt that licenses were denied to genuine importers and manufacturers only given to middle men whose only interest in these licenses was to hawk them around. Fraudulent acts, armed robbery, etcetera, became the order of the day. The government seemed unable or unwilling to deal firmly with perpetrators of such acts. When the executive branch of the government fails, the people expected relief from the legislative branch which was invested with the power, with the checks and balances within the constitution, to ensure that the executive provided good government. The legislature, however, were in no position to check the drift of the executive, since they were not active collaborators. They were fully occupied with other things of no benefit to the people who they represented. It was not difficult to see that the failings of the executive and the legislature, would shake the confidence of the people in the system of government, which they had accepted at such high costs; that in the midst of their intolerable suffering and venerable degeneration in the standard of living, which was at the time ruled by the people who only looked forward to a change in their circumstances, by the government installation through the mechanism of the ballot box, of a government with a more purposeful and responsible leadership."

    PD/JRS

    Background: Nigeria's new leader, General Mohammed Buhari, outlined his social and economic policies on January 5.Speaking at his first news conference five days after assuming power in a bloodless coup, the general said priority would be given to clearing the backlog of foreign debt while improving the lot of the ordinary people.He confirmed that his government would pursue negotiations for a 2.5 billion US dollar loan from the IMF (International Monetary Fund), started by the ousted civilian government of President Shehu Shagari.He said the money was needed to bail Nigeria out of a severe economic crisis caused by a slump in the country's main export, oil.About 90 per cent of Nigeria's foreign earnings come from oil.Earlier, General Buhari said economic mismanagement had prompted his takeover, and that Nigerians had to watch helplessly as President Shagari's government mishandled the economic crisis, causing high inflation.He said promised economic improvements were applied inadequately and imported food supplies to supplement domestic output were hoarded by corrupt officials or sold at very high prices.General Buhari also condemned the previous system of import licenses, allotted, he said, by favour, and not to the manufacturers and genuine importers who needed them.He said the people had been misled by the government and criticised it for failing to deal firmly with rising crime.General Buhari has also confirmed that Nigeria would remain a member of OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Export Countries), and hinted he would accept a devaluation of the currency, the naira if the IMF loan was given.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVACVNN5TVDCZ1WWFQWAOGW7NMSN
    Media URN:
    VLVACVNN5TVDCZ1WWFQWAOGW7NMSN
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    06/01/1984
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:03:30:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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