There will be questions asked
by Kalu Aja
March 20, 2017 | 11:57 am| | | Start Conversation
Many years from now, economist will study the Nigerian economy from 2015 and ask many questions…
Why for instance did the Federal Government (FGN) institute Capital Controls in 2015 as the economy showed signs of entering a recession in 2016? Many students of economics will not believe the FGN still retained Capital Controls in 2017, while simultaneously “floating” and “defending” the Naira at the same time…..
Questions will be asked about the multiple exchange rates…..some will say they Googled and saw five rates….others will say they read about seven separate exchange rates….including rates for intending religious pilgrims.
A key point of contention will be why the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) remained unsigned….even as non oil exports and Foreign Portfolio and Direct Investment stalled….
Why did the Buhari Administration take NLNG dividends and share to States without preconditions? Why was an “independent” CBN asked to buy toxic State debt and repackage them so State salaries could be paid. They (CBN) did buy the debt without verification of the said State employees.
Was there an economic team at the time? This will be a subject of intense debate….or was the team ineffective and incompetent? Or perhaps the President was distracted with fights with Boko Haram and the National Assembly?
Why did the Federal Government not take advantage of a fall in crude oil prices to scrap the fuel subsidy scheme?…..why did it choose “modulation” . Why did it retain subsidized prices of N86 then issue a supplementary budget of N500b in 2015 to fund fuel subsidy payments..only to eventually raise prices to N145 after crippling fuel queues…..then retain subsidies on PMS as oil prices fell?
Why was the cassava bread program to substitute imported wheat with local cassava ignored until 2017….and attention paid to importing grass? Was the economic impact of a reduction in imports of wheat not more than importing grass?
What was the economic sense in N6t budgets that were financed with debt but spent on salaries and fueling Presidential Jets…did the padded “zero” budget of 2016 budget not sufficiently warn the policy makers to reform the budget process?..why then was there padded and questionable budgets in 2016?
Why did the FGN create an enormous bureaucracy by lumping three key Ministries of Works, Power and Housing under one man? Did this not over-concentrate decision making, sacrificing speed and oversight?
Why did the FGN wait until 2017 before releasing an Economic Recovery Plan?
There will be many questions asked….
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