Saturday, 24 September 2016

Conflicting ideas on pulling Nigerian Economy out of recession: The Way Forward

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Suggestion from some members of Senate calls for the sale of key national asset to raise about $15billion dollar to shore up foreign reserve and embark on capital projects,

Treasury Single Account (TSA) should be look into as it has been discovered to have done more harm to the economy than good as it has cause acute shortage of fund in the nation’s financial institutions,

Anti-corruption war is been suggested to looked into as the way and manner EFCC has been going about it has create fears in the mind of people from investing their money for fear of not being questioned and arrested. 

Sequel to the nation dwindling economic fortune leading to recession, there has been calls for the sale of the national assets to raise fund to the tune of $15billion dollar to shore up the nation’s foreign reserve and be able to finance capital project in order to boost the economy. However, this suggestion didn’t go down well with some members of the senate. Some sees it as a desperate decision which needs to be examined critically. This school of thought believe that though the economy is in a dare situation and need urgent solution, however, the nation’s key asset should not sold for the fear that the asset will end up in the hand of individual who may exploit the system to the detriment of the people. 

The NLC and TUC are already against the idea and have position themselves to may be embarked on nationwide strike if federal government at the end chooses such option. The harsh economic reality is biting hard, the general price of goods and services is on the increase, and people can no longer afford to eat three square meals, hunger in the land, crime rate in on the increase and many more ills in the society. If you can’t use what you have to solve your immediate problem, what is your suggestion on the way forward? Already there has been name calling, portraying those for the sale of the nation’s key asset as none-patriotic Nigerians. There is need to examine this option (pros and coins) critically without resorting to name calling. What Nigerians need this period is meaningful and practical solution and not argument that will not yield any solution.

On Treasury Single Account (TSA), it was believed that the Jonathan led federal government initiated it but never implemented it during his administration. Every policy has its advantage and disadvantages. What make policy acceptable is when it did not end up making majority worse-off…there should be Parato optimality in every economic decision(s). Why is it that Jonathan initiated the TSA but never implemented it? Did the government later examine it and discovered that it might make the economy worse-off irrespective of the perceived benefits? Is it the political will he never had to implement it? 

Meanwhile, President Buhari came on board and starts the implementation of the TSA policy and every federal government kobo was made to be transferred to a single account. It is believed that most of our financial institutions (Banks) depend on this federal government account domicile in their bank. However, these funds are no longer with them and some now find it difficult to cope hence the cutting down on their workforce. It should be noted that economy is interdependent, no one exist without each other.  If the TSA as implemented by the current administration is causing more pains to the economy than good, then there is a need to revisit the policy and see how it could be made flexible.

On anti-corruption fight by Mr President, some people see it as witch-hunting and selective, others also see it as a welcome development. However, you may look at it; corruption is an ill that does no one good. It has been our problem as a nation and it will continue to hurt us if we collectively don’t fight it. In fact, this corruption fight is one of the agenda of the president that brought him to power by the people.  Of recent, there were lots of mind blowing revelations on amount catered away by single and heartless individuals. Many as a result have been arrested and fund stolen returned to the federal government.   

Be that as it may, it’s amazing to know that after arresting these looters and detain them for a while and some amount returned, they still walk freely and go on with their normal life. It has even been reported in some quarters that some politicians are defecting or have defected to the ruling party to avoid been probed. It is also believed that some even with their genuine money is afraid of investing their money for fear of not been arrested by the EFCC. This corruption fight is a good fight for the benefit of the country and needs our collective effort to succeed. However, I want to believe that this fight can succeed more effectively through institution/structural change back up by law. 

In other word, every loophole should be blocked and checked always. There is a saying in my dialect that let the thief take the one he has stolen but let another one not be stolen again. I am not saying the fight should not go on, the EFCC should apply some restrained in the fight. There should be confident building in the system…the government should encourage and assure those who make their money genuinely to come out and invest in the economy. When the righteous rule, the people rejoice. If you know you make your money genuinely and have the interest of Nigerians at heart, come out and invest in the country. The Nigerian unemployed graduates needs jobs, you don’t need to carry your money to another country to develop them while Nigeria go through this hard time.

The federal government needs to harmonize urgently whatever suggestion that have been made aimed at pulling the economy out of recession and begin to apply them. The state government should not allow only federal government to carry this cross. All hands MUST be on desk. Time is obviously running out.

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