Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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ideas have consequences

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Naira is gradually evolving into a ‘proxy’ and ‘puppetry’ currency to both US dollar and British pound. Therefore it is devoid of logic and not prudent to further devalue naira in this circumstance as stipulated and recommended by the overbearing IMF.  The economic managers and financial policy makers of yesteryear Nigeria failed woefully to safeguard and protect the emerging and fledgling naira currency.





The prevailing eclipse of naira by the dominant dollar has softened the intrinsic value of naira as the principal medium of exchange in the commonwealth Nigeria.   The herculean mismanagement of naira as shown by its deterioration as determined by the forces of the market, invariably hinged on demand and supply law on the parallel market.






Therefore the opposition by President Buhari on the further devaluation of naira is reasonably comprehended and maybe the best option for Nigeria at the moment.  Theoretically, the devaluation of naira may look appealing on esoteric and intellectual exercise but on practical level it will literally heap more problems on the country’s macroeconomics with alarming effects on inflation and employment.




On this ground AFRIPOl  (Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center) stand shoulder to shoulder with  President Buhari’s  administration adamancy to imbibe the bitter cup of currency devaluation.





History is Nigeria’s greatest weapon of defense for this is not the first time the country has tested the unjustably repercussion of drastic naira devaluation. No good student of Nigeria’s sociology-economics history will allow the SAP – (structural adjustment program) disaster to escape his memory. The SAP recommended by IMF connotes the devaluation of naira at an alarming rate that subsequently, brought about the total collapse of the country’s economy.





Nigeria has missed a lot of opportunities, but as they say, it is better late than never. The billions of dollars Nigeria accumulated from crude oil export were wasted.  It is utterly incredible, even with large  oil revenues  there is no steady supply of drinking water and electricity in the so-called giant of Africa at the dawn of 21st century. Most of the generated revenues were siphoned to foreign banks where the host nations will utilize it for further development of their own nests:  While millions of poor and destitute Nigerians are wallowing in abject poverty and penury, unable to feed their families three square meals a day.





Emeka Chiakwelu, Policy Strategist at Afripol  on piece titled, “Politics of currency devaluation” argued that naira devaluation at the moment is not inimical for the normalization of the dwindling macroeconomics s stability of the country.  His observation and analysis was made with intellectual vim and clarity.  His words:




“The economy is not a wholly export based except crude oil and the economy is not diversified with arrays of manufactured products for export. The logic of devaluation is to induce and increase export by lowering the prices of local manufactured products making them attractive for export. But that is not the case with Nigeria, a mono-product exporting country; crude oil which generates about 90 percent of the country's foreign exchange is not fit for such a move.. By devaluating naira the price of oil will further nosedive and country's foreign reserve will dwindle, while the incentive to buy Nigerian fiduciary bonds and securities in international market will depreciate.”





Chiakwelu further stipulated his facts with current scheme of things especially wellbeing of the economy:



“To be factual, Nigerian currency naira has already been weakened by rising inflation and market forces as buttressed by the exchange rate at the parallel market. At this point in time the inflationary trend is gradually creeping into the monetary base and naira is gradually but steadily losing its ground. Therefore what is the logic of further devaluating a currency that already have been weaken by rising inflation and by so doing summons and heaps a greater hardship on the majority of Nigerians.”





Chiakwelu therefore reflected on the latest development in the country with a conclusive analysis:
“But this latest move by IMF for naira devaluation cannot in long-term solve the problems of the declining oil price and paucity of diversify source of foreign exchange reserve. An export orientated economy is inevitable for sustainable naira stability to be maintained. Nigeria must have a mix of other revenues other than oil for replenishing and marinating an appreciable foreign reserve that can pose as an intimidating war chest, able to repel aggressive currency speculators. Other than Nigeria will be on roll coaster for foreseeable future because the fallen oil price is the future normality.”


Momentarily, Nigeria needs a steady hand of probity, sound management and accountability. Over bloated budget and unnecessary spending must be curtailed, if not outrightly abandon. This is a season to put the house in order before it totally collapse and its fortunes irreversible.



Monetary policy makers must look beyond immediate panacea for there is no easy way out.  But rather focus and anchor on long-term strategy without exerting excessive tight monetary policy or surplus money creation that may undermine pro-growth policy and further weaken the malleable naira.



Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it       www.afripol.org

 

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 11:26

Afripol felicitate with Nigeria @53

The management and staff of Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) conveyed a message of goodwill and sustainability to the people of Nigeria on the 53 years anniversary of the country’s independent.


At 53 Nigeria is of age and no longer an exuberant youth that is full of energy but deeply vulnerable and flawed in judgment. This is the appropriate time to take inventory, a time of reflection and a time to set into motion affirmative outlooks and policies to remake Nigeria and get her ready for tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities.

 

Looking back and evaluating our great nation, we have come a look way. Although Nigeria is still a long way from the promise land but all things being equal there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The nascent Democracy despite all the hindrances and setbacks is unfolding slowly and steadily. It has become chic and acceptable to blame our leaders for all the problems of the country but the truth is that the people too have their own responsibilities too.

 

After all, leaders come from the people and people deserved their leaders. This is not to let leaders off the hook especially the leaders who have betrayed the nation. But let the people know that eternal vigilance and civic responsibilities are the coins for exchange in democracy. People must be engaged, committed and ready to stand up for truth and justice.

 

The bitter truth is that many politicians are mismanaging democracy while most Nigerians have become cynical and disengaged. The complaining and shouting will not do the job of rectifying the problems of the society. The only sustainable way to create a vibrant and stable nation is rooted on the engagement of the citizenry with fairness and sincerity. A committed citizen becomes imperative to uplift the down trodden of the society and becoming serious on the solidification and consolidation of democratic principles of fairness and justice for all.

 

President Goodwill Jonathan despite all odds is doing the best possible even with all the mountains of obstructions, ossification and obfuscation confronting the nation. Nigerians are expecting the problems of the nation to be solved immediately but the truth is that the problems have deep rooted branches that cannot be easily uprooted and removed. The debris of corruption, inefficiency, tribalism and laziness cannot be washed away with same old ways of doing business. Uncommon problems call for uncommon solutions. Nigerians must be creative, innovative and magnanimous in solving her problems.

Without doubt, Nigeria with all the vulnerabilities and encumbrances is in right direction. The macreconomic of the nation is sound, yes it is.  The economic growth is hovering above 6 percent, the inflation rate is less than 10 percent and direct investment in non-oil sector is surging and that is very encouraging. These are bellwethers, an indicative that the country is moving forward. The need for economic diversification cannot be overemphasized; oil is not the economy of tomorrow.  Modern technology, industrialization and sound educational system are the paths to reliable and sustainable economic growth.

 

This is not to hide behind good econometric indices and to imply that everything is well.  Nigeria has a major problem with unemployment especially among its bulging and restive youths. No nation can survive with its social and political stability in tact with such a large numbers of unemployed youths and young people. Youths with over flowing energy can be an agent of change for good but also when not properly manage can become a disaster for a nation like Nigeria struggling to build a strong and stable nation. Nigeria must find creative ways to ameliorate unemployment especially among its youths.

 

Sectarian violence, armed robbery and kidnapping are social ills making life unpleasant and depressing for all Nigerians especially the poor Nigerians surviving with less than 2 US dollars a day, struggling to eke out a living in nation where random and senseless violence poses a threat to earning a livable income.

 

Nigerians must come together, work together with our leaders’ in order to secure peace and goodwill for all Nigerians including the future generations to come. Nigeria’s unity and economic prosperity cannot be compromise or negotiated.  Nigeria must become a nation that we all must be proud to call our own, a true giant of Africa. For a great and good nation must also come from a great and good people.

Emeka Chiakwelu is the Principal and Policy Strategist at Afripol.


Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. www.afripol.org   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Saturday, 07 August 2010 04:42

NSE MUST BE REVAMPED AND REFORMED

 

 

Afripol Organization calls for recalibrating of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

 Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for sometime now is encountering numerous problems ranging from illegal and inside trading to financial mismanagement. Stock Exchange Market in global financial circle is seen as the bellwether and presage of the health of an emerging economy like Nigeria, therefore it has become necessary, if not imperative that some sort of reform must be administered and instituted in order to revamp the exchange market

 For any nation that is serious about furthering capitalism on its soil, it must acknowledge the important role occupied by Stock Exchange Market for fuelling and financing industries in the capital market. Nigeria must be very concerned about perceived integrity and transparency of her financial and capital markets for her economic growth and full participation in the current global economy.

 Aliko Dangote, President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) recently accused the institution of being financial strapped due to mismanagement of its fund. The president of NSE stressed that the poor management and paucity of fund do not give the leverage for NSE to meet its obligations to stakeholders in the capital market.

 NSE plays a vital role in an economy of our country especially Nigeria as an emerging economy must be careful about the image and the underpinning importance of its capital market. Nigeria cannot afford to undermine the trust of the global capital market traders. The consequence will encourage capital flight and withdraw of resources from the market.

"Dangote accused NSE’s management of dipping its hands into the finances of its subsidiary, the Central Securities Clearing System’s (CSCS) accounts to borrow N 900 million to support its cash deficit position.

 Dangote further revealed that the NSE is indebted to the tune of N 119.5 million to Accenture auditing firm and that it has decided to stop additional work on executive selection, trading platform selection completion and implementation of the operating model for which the Exchange engaged its services, until all outstanding invoices are duly paid."

 Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) must not be allowed to become a weakened institution; for the ramifications could cause enormous damage on the growing economy. The deterioration of NSE will retard economic development in Nigeria. NSE is the contact point that brings buyers and sellers of stocks through their registered brokers. The capital and money raised by companies from capital market helps to support research and development, financing of new business entities which bolster economic development.

Nigeria with a strong population base and an expanding middle class sector, nurses the vision of becoming one of the largest economies by year 2020. The NSE can play a vital role in Nigeria’s ascendency to a well managed and optimum productive economy. Moreover the foreign investors are attracted to economies where capital can be raised for growing their companies. Nigeria cannot transform her economic woes by solely on public sector; Nigeria needs private sector with its creativity to grow her economy and starting creating ample jobs for underemployed and unemployed. A strong, reliable and well managed NSE can lay the foundation and become the catalyst for economic growth for Nigeria’s emerging economy.

 

Afripol Organization recognizes the significance of a self- sustaining and a healthy capital market which is key ingredient for a well regulated commerce, trade and industry in a capitalistic economy. A flourishing economy needs a reliable Stock Exchange Market.

Vincent Ogboi, Senior fellow, economic and financial analyst on African affairs at Afripol, reaffirmed the urgency for reform: "A renowned Nigerian industrialist and President of NSE, Mr. Dangote, also an insider sounded an alarm bell that the Nigerian Stock Exchange is "broke". This coming form an inside player cannot be blown off as just another empty cry for investigation of perceived enemies. The culture of pervasive corruption that has gone unabated since Nigeria’s independence has predictably taken over and erodes the trust of many in the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Once again, hard working average Nigerians who are always asked to play by the rules, are left holding the short end of the stick."

Referring to the recent history of mismanagement of priorities at NSE, expert Ogboi stressed: "The Nigerian Stock Exchange, headed by Dr. (Mrs) Okereke, is widely known for corrupt practices that are never investigated even when evidence abound. The Present Nigerian President, Mr. Jonathan Goodluck, in a swift move realizing the possible damaging impact this could bring to the comatose and oil dependent economy, sacked Mrs. Okereke. Mrs. Okereke’s position has been very controversial especially in the last few years since she started dabbling into other private business ventures that are in obvious conflict with her position as the head of the Stock Exchange. Her closeness to previous and corrupt past Nigerian politicians has certainly not helped the situation."

Emeka Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol, supports reforming NSE, "For Nigeria to move forward with a robust economic development especially in the private sector a well regulated and financially managed NSE must be present. Our country must summon the courage to do the requisite reforming of NSE to bring about a revamped outcome."

Dr. G. Stanley O'Koye, chief medical correspondent at Afripol, added that reforming the NSE can be a great tremendous help to the quality and efficiency of health care delivery in Nigeria: "when we have a solid and reliable NSE, many start-up and newly emerging biotech companies and venture capitalists in the area of health and medicine can confidently go to capital market to raise money to embark on their health care ventures. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies producing drugs can easily raise capital to manufacture their brand name drugs in the country. Therefore a corrupt free NSE can significantly help to restore health industries as thriving entities. In addition, a corrupt free NSE will facilitate the establishment of publicly traded third party insurance or health management organizations (HMO), and hence promote the delivery of quality health care to Nigerians."

 

Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.

 

 

The disaster that beset Haiti is colossal and the human suffering with destruction brought by earthquake is up to biblical proportion. The whole world is coming together to help Haiti, the poorest country in Northern Hemisphere, to safe lives and ameliorate human sufferings. Africa is not missing in the picture; many African countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda and others are offering assistance to Haiti but they should synchronize their effort.

Nigerians are already part of the UN police mission in Haiti that are assiduously working to rescue people who are missing and trapped in the fallen building structures. The Nigerian Vice President Jonathan Ebele Goodluck has promised to follow up with more assistance. Rwanda and Liberia governments have contributed US $100, 000 and $50,000 respectively. Senegalese government has promised to offer land to Haitians, those that are willing to come to Senegal. And "South Africa - The government has announced a three-phase assistance package: deployment of doctors to a search and rescue team led by Rescue South Africa, a non-profit company; deployment of forensic pathologists to help identify bodies; provision of unspecified humanitarian aid in partnership with South African NGOs".

All these contributions by African countries are the right steps in affirmative direction but the planning lacks vitality and coherence. In this case Africa needs coordination that will enable her to make a reasonable impact; this is not to negate the singular effort made by each country. But when they come together under the auspices of African Union the impact will be greatly felt and they will speak with one voice. The whole world will understand that Africa can work together for the rescue and revitalization that citizens of the world are doing in Haiti. African governments must not make this solely a government intervention operation but must devise a method to include their citizens especially the wealthy people in the country to contribute to a Haiti fund and NGOs that are dedicated to charity works.

Afripol Organization has applauded Liberia and Rwanda for the cash donations they made to Haiti. For inspite of the economic downturn and problems these countries were experiencing still they made these donations. Rwanda with her past history of genocide and destruction understood quite well the suffering and Liberia with her legacy of civil war knew what it means to lose life and property on a staggering scale.

Obama's American has taken the lead and has done a good job and the American people have followed with donations. Africans can learn from this; not by giving large resources which they do not have but having a concerted planning and coordination. Nigeria and South Africa the two largest economies in Africa must shoulder bigger responsibilities, simultaneously showing sense of leadership by working together to streamline African response.

Mr. Emeka Chiakwelu is the Principal policy strategist at Afripol Organization. Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.

Published in Emeka Chiakwelu

The Governor of Central bank of South Africa, Gill Marcus has proven herself a pragmatic free market banker rather than ideological by the way she goes about with her responsibilities as the apex banker of the land. She has wisely asserted her independence by refusing to yield to pressure from politicians and labor union to further cut down the benchmark interest rate.

"On March 25, the central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to the lowest in at least 12 years, reducing it by half a percentage point to 6.5 percent, to shore up a recovery from the first recession in 17 years. Labor unions have been pushing for further rate cuts to create jobs." Governor Gill Marcus understood quite well that credit crunch must be ameliorated in order to stimulate the economy for wealth and job creations. For her gallant action she deserves every kudos.

Gill Marcus, Governor of South African Reserve Bank

Gill Marcus was the deputy governor of South African Reserve Bank before she was appointed the new governor of South African apex bank to replace the retired Tito Mboweni. Marcus appointment assured the global financial market that President Jacob Zuma who made the appointment was still committed to free market and financial discipline of his predecessor Thabo Mbeki.


The retired former governor of South African Reserve Bank, Tito Mboweni have the reputation of being fiscal conservative with a prudence in the application of well thought monetary policy to control inflation and maintaining the value of rand. Under the watchful eye of Mboweni the South African currency rand have continue to maintain its strong value but not too strong to dwindle export of home made goods.

South African economy is quite ebullient with its relentless dominance of the entire African economic and financial landscape - the largest economy in Africa and the only African country that made it to G20. A good thing coming from South Africa is the continued investments in the continent. South African investors are investing heavily in West Africa particularly in Nigeria and neighboring countries where they are dominating telecommunication industry. Many of construction contracts in buildings and road constructions in many African countries are dominated by South African firms.

Afripol praised the appointment of Gill Marcus by President Jacob Zuma and maintained that "the keeping of high interest rates do not augur well for growth of small and viable businesses in South Africa. High interests make it difficult for a flourishing economic growth in the country and for upcoming new capitalist it can be detrimental in obtaining and paying back loans from financial institutions." Therefore lower interest rate can be necessary for economic growth and job creation.

The further cutting of interest rate can stimulate economic activities and can help to regenerate economic growth in South Africa in era of global recession, ultimately setting the climate for job creation that is badly needed in the country. When business community and marketers have access to credit, it will surely bring about the needed liquidity that the market is craving for. But cutting the interest rate to appease political constituents will not be good for a coordinated and well thought monetary policy.

A way lower interest rate may certainly encourage more borrowing but more spending and easy money have its downside too. Excessive liquidity may trigger inflationary trends and higher inflation that may retard economic growth that comes with higher unemployment and even weaker rand. The rand is not doing badly even with local demand of dollar; it stood its ground and always rebounded. It was reported that "the rand has surged almost 27 percent since the start of last year, helping to ease price growth by reducing the cost of imports such as oil." An appreciating and strong rand is an indicator of prosperous economy but overtly stronger rand may discourage and dampen export.

The inflation rate since February in South Africa has been 5.7% and that is three-year low. And Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus deserves the credit on the handling of the apex bank and its monetary policy. Keeping the inflation lower may be the most important job she has been doing. Higher inflation will complicate her duties by slowing growth and that will not help to alleviate poverty among the youths and unemployed of South Africa. And the increasing stronger and appreciating rand will lose its luster and potency with rising inflation.

Governor Gill Marcus has done well by resisting the mounting pressure to further lower the benchmark interest rate. Yielding to such pressure without the consideration of the market forces will not be prudent. And with that comes the losing of independence and a weaken reserve bank.

 

Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.