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Buhari Travels Too Much? By Mike Ikem Umealo

President Buhari's many foreign trips since he assumed Office is troubling to many people and perhaps rightly so. 

But you see, whenever anyone, as in anyone, mentions these foreign trips, tell that person in simple language, "you don't know what you are talking about." 

Asking grown people to think is often a tough challenge anyone can face and speaking the truth on issues that can shape our collective future is perhaps even a greater challenge because some of the issues of national importance can be very perplexing and not everyone will understand. 

Yes, since May 2015, President Buhari has undertaken, as at the latest count, ca. 22 foreign trips including three trips to the United States and One recent trip to China. 

But to some folks talk about these trips, and you would think that they have something serious to talk about. And some of the former president's supporters are good at it. They would have you think that their beloved hero President was the end-all-be-all of limited travelling and conservative travel costs. He is their hero and that's their prerogative; but if care is not taken, PDP would rename itself GEJ-Party soon. 

But the truth can bite sometimes you know. Most people are well settled in fiction that it's very upsetting to open up their "life of myth." 

I have said severally that I don't like mentioning the former president because we now have a responsible leadership and have since moved on. But again, I want to hope that this is the last. 

The truth is that, in his first 9 months in office as the elected president, Pres. Jonathan Goodluck travelled outside the country 20 times between May 2011 and February 2012. And if we are to go back to the time the former president assumed office as acting president, he travelled outside the country on 45 occasions spending nearly N3.354bn on each year of his trips between February 2010 and February 2012. Please Check if these are facts before disputing them. Thanks

Yet, this is not about comparison. And I think Nigerians should be concerned how often their leaders travel and the time they spend outside the country. But beyond that, the deeper reflection of reality should be asking the right questions. The question should be, what is the president achieving from his foreign trips? Is he succeeding? Is he attracting investments to Nigeria? These are the real questions. 

How many Nigerians knew that the "Currency swap" deal Nigeria signed with China was between Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited and the Central Bank of Nigeria, and not between CBN and Chinese PBoC, and thus cannot be described as a "Currency Swap?" 

Accordingly, China aims to "internationalise the Yuan and essentially segment it." 

And on the other hand, while it is to Nigeria's interest to use Yuan to pay China when buying Chinese Goods and for China to also pay us in Naira when buying Nigerian raw materials and other goods, it does not foreclose the use of the US dollars. In essence, the segmentation of the Chinese Yuan and the Agreement with Nigeria, forms an alternative method of payment for trading between China and Nigeria. Ultimately, the pressure on the dollar would reduce. 

Now, how many have bothered to ask the real question: what is the comparative advantage of the "internationalisation of the Yuan" for Nigeria? These are the real questions. Nigerian writers and bloggers should be demanding that these details be uploaded on the CBN’s website as soon as the deal is consummated to enable a thorough analysis of its benefits to Nigeria so that we, as a people, will know when they want to cheat us; because na so e dey take start. And I personally don't trust the Chinese since a phone I purchased in Hong Kong developed 5 ringing tones from one incoming call and I still missed the call because I didn't know it was my own phone ringing. Anyway, These are the real issues and counting of flight hours for the President is silly and a waste of time.

(MIU, April, 2016).
Buhari Travels Too Much? By Mike Ikem Umealo Buhari Travels Too Much?  By Mike Ikem Umealo Reviewed by Emeka Oparah on Thursday, April 21, 2016 Rating: 5

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