Nigeria should spend more now to create jobs and reflate the economy, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said on Monday during the Colloquium to mark his birthday.
He urged the government to “put stimulus package in place”, adding “this is no time for austerity”.
According to him, the government “should not constrain the economy. This is the time to create opportunities.”
He added: “If you hear America spreading $1.9triilion and they are not looking back and still asking for three trillion for infrastructure renewal and for creating jobs when your unemployment rate is at about 33 per cent and you ask us to keep on fasting. We are fasting no more. The one we are fasting spiritually is voluntary. We have been fasting for many years.
“I hope the National Assembly, I hope the President hinself will not pay attention to austerity. To curb inflation, it is the state (governments) that must constrain themselves and balance budget, it is the local government that must restrict themselves and balance budget. Sovereignity is that of Nigeria and it is only the Federal Government that has the sovereign power and must use it for the benefit, development, health and quality life of Nigerians, that is why we are sovereign.”
Tinubu advocate massive recruitment into the armed forces to prevent youths from being recruited into banditry and to create employment for them.
He said: “We are underpoliced and we are competing with armed robbers and bandits. We are to recruit a group of youth who are unemployed. Recruit 50 million youths into the Army and take them away from their (bandits) recruitment source.
“What will they eat? Let them eat cassava or agbado or Corn in the morning and yam in the afternoon. These are grown here. You create demand and consumption for over five million army of boot camps. We grow food. That is money for the farmers; that is consumption for the soldiers and skill development.”
The former Lagos State governor praised the youths for being more industrious. “When you see the social media, these days, you find very creative minds of Nigerians. I salute our youths. They are angry now and they are showing their anger, but we will appeal to them.
“We have listened to our sisters and brothers here teaching us how to get them engaged. Maybe some of us are old-fashioned, but we must mix it too. The agitation can be dangerous. We have to mix it so that Nigeria is handled carefully.
“We can promote unity and common destiny and common patrimony in a better and more creative way. This is something we have done very well in Lagos State and can be brought to bear in the entire country one of these days.”
On why the choice of Kano to host the Colloquium, Tinubu said it is to demonstrate Nigeria’s strength of unity at the critical time because “some people are agitating wrongly.”
He praised Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje for giving his daughter out in marriage to a Southwesterner.
Ganduje’s daughter is married to a son of the Late former Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi.