CEM REPORT | The Chairman of Ikeja and District Society of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr. Olusesan Samuel Okunade, has supported the call from Nigerians to the Federal Government to begin to subsidize food as the price of commodities rises.
Mr. Olusesan Samuel Okunade join the call in a interaction with Continental Economy Magazine at the his Investiture as the 35th Chairman of the Ikeja and District Society of ICAN on Saturday at the Ikeja Country Club.
The District Chairman expressed his views on some economic issues that bother on inflation, security, infrastructure and food, especially the call by the Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki on food subsidy.
Though the ICAN District Chairman clarified that subsidy is something not to be too encouraged, he preferred that food is subsidized than fuel subsidy. His preference is based on the fact that fuel subsidy benefits the elite more while food subsidy will benefit the lower cadre of the Nigerian populace.
“Though subsidy is not something that is too encouraging if all things are working the way they should be, but the truth of the matter that a hungry man may definitely not be productive.
“I will toll the line of the Edo State governor that rather subsidizing petroleum, of which the lower cadre people may not benefit, it is better to subsidize food. How many of the lower cadre people have cars? Fuel subsidy is more beneficial to the elite. Therefore subsidizing food will benefit more the general masses and improve productivity all together”; Samuel Okunade said.
Commenting on the rising inflation, Mr Okunade emphasized on government expenditure which needs to be checked to be able to reduce borrowing since debt servicing takes the most our revenue. Relating this with importation, building infrastructure and tackling insecurity will boost local productivity and reduce importation.
He said; “To curb inflation, Nigeria should look at the side of expenditure. Currently more than 80% of our income goes into debt financing. Come to think of it, most of the borrowed funds goes into recurrent expenditure. The focus need to be redirected so that rather than going abroad to import some of those these we can produce, we should develop our own.
“The government should be intentional about developing our local content, have security as their bedrock, so that businesses can grow. Once businesses grow, with the force of demand and supply, every other thing will fall in place.
“Government should take as important security, build infrastructure for businesses to thrive and encourage the business owners. With these, we will see ourselves forcing inflation down within the shorted possible time.”