In the November 2021 edition of the Nigeria Development Update prepared by the global financial institution, Nigeria is projected to have one of the highest inflation rates globally and the seventh-highest among Sub-Saharan African countries in 2022.
“High inflation is frustrating Nigeria’s economic recovery and eroding the purchasing power of the most vulnerable households. In the absence of measures to contain inflation, rising prices will continue to diminish the welfare of Nigerian households.”
The bank further highlighted the adverse effects of inflation on Nigeria, which include pushing eight million Nigerians into poverty, andamo8, reaching 2.4 percent of the GDP in 2019 and then falling to 2.2 percent of the GDP in 2020.
“Cost of debt is high as Federal Government also resorts to overdraft (Ways and Means financing) from the CBN to meet in-year cash shortfalls. At end of 2020, the stock of the CBN Ways and Means financing was estimated at N13.1tn or 8.5 percent of the GDP,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government had estimated that Nigeria’s total public debt will rise from the present N38 trillion to N50.22 trillion by the end of 2023, with domestic debt projected at N28.75 trillion and foreign debt at N21.47 trillion. Suggesting that President Muhammadu Buhari-led’s administration is planning to borrow an estimated N12 trillion in two years.
Economists have condemned President Buhari’s incessant borrowing habit and warned that it could hurt the country’s development and productivity down the line. In the second quarter of 2021, the administration spent N445 billion on debt servicing, according to Debt Management Office. That is the amount that could have been used to improve factors of production and grow the economy.
Breaking: Tinubu sacks Emefiele as CBN Governor, appoints Cardoso, four other deputies
Cardoso is a former commissioner for budget and economic planning during the first term of Tinubu as the Lagos state governor Lagos.
The statement is titled, ‘President Tinubu nominates new CBN governor and management team for senate screening and confirmation.’
Tinubu also approved the nomination of four new Deputy Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, for a term of five years at the first instance, pending their confirmation by the Senate.
They include Mrs. Emem Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor, and Dr. Bala M. Bello.
“In line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda, the President expects the above-listed nominees to successfully implement critical reforms at the Central Bank of Nigeria, which will enhance the confidence of Nigerians and international partners in the restructuring of the Nigerian economy toward sustainable growth and prosperity for all,” the statement added
Dr. Yemi Cardoso is a financial and development expert with over thirty years of experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.
He is a member of the Belgian-based Cities Alliance Think Tank which aims to shape and influence policy and decision-making on urban development in Africa and has strong relationships with key international donor agencies.
He has his first degree from the University of Aston, United Kingdom and his second degree from Harvard University, USA.
In 2017, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in business administration by his alma mater, Aston University, in recognition of “his outstanding contributions to business and society.
Customs, 62 government agencies may lose revenue- collection functions to FIRS.
He emphasized that many MDAs, which were not originally designed for revenue collection, have been burdened with this task, diverting their focus from their core functions that are essential for economic facilitation.
“The objective is to enable organizations like Customs to concentrate on trade facilitation and border protection, and regulatory bodies like the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to focus solely on telecommunications regulation.
” This realignment will enhance efficiency, decrease collection costs, and promote transparency in revenue management.”
He acknowledged that there might be resistance from stakeholders who currently benefit from the existing process, but underscored the committee’s intention to ensure that revenues are directed to the government as intended.
Olawepo- Hashim foresees economic boom under Tinubu’s multi- pronged reform programmes
A stakeholder in Nigeria’s Energy Sector and a former Presidential Candidate, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has predicted a phenomenal economic rebound in Nigeria owing to the current financial and economic reforms embarked on by the newly inaugurated administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the past one month.
The 2022 trade surplus of only $2.85 billion dwindles in comparison to 2014’s $54.1 billion.
Also, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria’s economy fell from $2.2 billion in 2014 to $0.47 billion in 2022, while budget deficit rose by 370.54 percent from 2016 to 2023.
Total public debt as of June 2013 was N7.93 trillion. It’s now at around N77 trillion.
But in the last one month, the President has announced two major economic reforms.
The petrol subsidies, experts agree, have strained Nigeria’s public accounts, contributing to a situation where higher global oil prices hurt, rather than help the economy.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Monday, Olawepo-Hashim noted that the current policy reforms have eliminated distortions in the foreign exchange management on the one hand; and the removal of the corrupt system of oil subsidies on the other hand.
Before now, in Nigeria, there are four foreign exchange (FX) markets: the Interbank FX market, the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, Bureau De Change (BDC) window, and the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) window.
However, due to the limited FX supply from exporters and foreign investors, the CBN played a significant role in supplying FX (in this case, USD) to these windows.
Olawepo-Hashim however stated that the policy to unify the exchange windows should have a long-term positive effect on foreign exchange rate and free flow of capital in the country while also yielding a positive impact due to increased confidence in the new government.
According to him, the removal of the subsidies regime in the pricing of Petroleum products is expected to lead to more investment in Mid and Downstream sub sectors of the oil and gas sectors with a net effect of the creation of value-added needed jobs.
He stressed that the new law on decentralization of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution, if properly implemented with concomitant policies, is capable of attracting about 300 billion US dollars over 5 to 7 years into the electricity sector from local and foreign financing sources.
Olawepo-Hashim equally explained that Nigeria per capital comparison with South Africa needs to generate, transmit and distribute about 200,000 MW of electricity, adding that “we can if we stay steadfast to needed reform.
“Nigeria recorded that feat before with liberalization of the telecom sector as she moved from a nation of 400,000 telephone lines in 1999 to a nation of 222 million active lines now.”
While stressing the importance of a naira exchange rate based on market indicators and informed projections to settle around 660 Naira to 1 US Dollar in the exchange market within the next 6 to 9 months, he urged the government to pay attention to immediate deployment of relevant social intervention programmes to cushion the effect of inflation on the burgeoning numbers of the poor.
He also emphasized that “our economic growth expectations must be inclusive and must not leave the majority of our people behind.
“It is a great season of hope and confidence for Nigeria. The nation is steadily on to an assured future as an economic powerhouse and great nation.”
Olawepo-Hashim argued that “Nigeria with the right policy mix will exceed the projection of Price Water Cooper that Nigeria will be the 9th largest economy in the world by 2050 adding that “we are capable of hitting the great economic Milestone predicted by PWC much earlier and climbing higher on the ladder.”
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