How FG Can Turn Present Crisis Into Opportunity – Akande

*Asks Govt to Comment on Damning Report on Smuggling by Journalist Soyombo

Ex-Presidential aide, Laolu Akande says the President Bola Tinubu Administration can turn the present crisis confronting the nation into an opportunity by building trust with Nigerians through coordinated dissemination of information and responsive action to corruption allegations involving government agencies and officials.

Akande made this known on Inside Sources aired on Channels Television on Friday.

Akande advised the leaders not to let the crisis go to waste.

“The hardship that is going on in our country today, challenging as it is, is actually an opportunity for our leaders to recover and win the peoples’ trust,” he said.

The notable journalist said, “For instance, times of crisis is not when you give out uncoordinated information as a government. It is no time for clumsy dissemination. For instance, this week from a presidency X handle, an official source saying the ‘UAE visa ban lifted’, and then a day after from the same presidency handle, we hear ‘Oh sorry, the UAE visa ban has not been lifted after all’.

Akande noted that the government cannot build trust with the citizens, considering that their trust seems dwindling in a government that promised them so much hope and it seems they aren’t getting what was promised.

According to him, nothing builds trust like justice, forthrightness and courage coming from the leadership in government.

He said, “Instead, government should be busy composing an effective chorus of hope, focusing on some of the recent successes of the administration. Because quite frankly, even though the impact is not yet felt by the people but we’ve heard about rise in the foreign reserves even if it’s marginal, I think about $3 billion. There needs to be an effective chorus about that.

“Also, this week, Minister for Information was talking about significant improvements in the foreign direct investment. Even if it’s all promises, there needs to be an effective chorus of that.

“But more importantly, nothing builds trust like justice, forthrightness and courage coming from the leadership in government. The loud cries of injustice rise above any other thing in the polity. And that is why it is important that the cries of hunger, impressions of fear has to be reasonably cured.”

Continuing, Akande said an investigative journalist Fisayo Soyombo churned out a damaging story on smuggling and smugglers in the land.

“Besides the likelihood that smuggling could explain some of the hardship in the land, that report alleges that some of the people involved in very serious smuggling in this country are well known to the authorities, and that their activities are before our very eyes. The videos are everywhere.

“Government should not be silent on such a damning allegation. Trust is lost in the silence. Government should speak up and loudly to say at least these things are being investigated.”

He said another way to earn trust is to urgently restore the National Social Investment Programme which the Minister for Finance and Coordinating Economy, Wale Edun, announced weeks ago that a decision has been taken to immediately restore the social investment program.

“But we have not heard anything yet since then. And lastly, whatever government is doing, there should be a significant scale up of the numbers. We are a population of about 220 million people, when we do things in the thousands even in the couple millions it is as if nothing has been done. So, government must make sure that it does stuff that can reach millions in their tens and scores of millions at the minimum.

“This is how to build trust and I hope and believe that if govt & even the media-keep on in a constant engagement with the people at a time like this, there’s no reason why we can’t turn what is a crisis today to an opportunity soon.”

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