The new year speech of President Muhammadu Buhari has rekindled hope that the economic, security and health challenges of 2020 would be overcome in the new year.
Comrade Issa Aremu, a Member of National Institute and Vice President of IndustriAll Global Union made this observation in his 2021 New Year Message . The labour leader said it was “presidential” and “a mark of statesmanship” for President Buhari to have agreed with most Nigerians that 2020 “was a tough year” with “..a lot of challenges ranging from security and economic issues”. He said it was time Nigerians were optimistic that the new year would make a positive difference. With the official admittance of the reality of pains of 2020, Comrade Aremu observed that “in fullness of time” things would fall in place with respect to security, job creation, poverty eradication and curtailment of the scourge of Covid: 19”.
Comrade Aremu who was also the Labour Party ( LP) governorship candidate in Kwara State hailed President Buhari for his “deference to the plight” of the youth in his new year speech. While acknowledging President’s pledge at “Re-energizing and reorganizing” the security apparatus, he added the the whole “nation cannot be wrong in saying the current security chieftains were fatigued and needed to be relieved” . He lamented that 2020 witnessed what he called “serial youth abuse” citing December 11 abductions of 300 students of Kankara Government Science Secondary School”. Comrade Aremu however advised that in the coming years all schools “must be as secured as any government house”. He said the only way to ensure security and the “future of the coming generation” is to enforce sanctions for security breaches at schools and rewards for safety of students”!
In a similar vein, the labour leader challenged the youths and the civil society to reciprocate by constructively engaging with the government taking the advantage of the President’s remark that “government heard,…and listened and committed to fulfilling their historic five demands”. He said history would credit the youths for laying the foundation for current police reforms through the ENDSARS protest.
On the economy, Comrade Aremu commended President Buhari for keeping faith with January-December budget cycles in a two years at a row. According to him, “with budgets cycle discipline and implementation discipline N13.5 trillion budget can reverse free fall of recession and usher in economic recovery in 2021.
Aremu who is also a strong advocate of sustainable industrial development in Africa said “Government spending must be used to buy locally produced goods to revive industries, create sustainable decent jobs and get millions out of poverty as engaged by the President”.