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ideas have consequences

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  • Gambia:One Year On, Victims of Gambian Dictator Demand Justice
    [IRIN] Banjul -Ayeshah was just 14 when her father went missing in 2005, never to be seen again. He was a relative of Gambian autocrat Yahya Jammeh, but he had made the fatal mistake of telling the president "what he was doing to people was wrong," Ayeshah told IRIN.
  • Tanzania:Mining Firms Have Three Months to Comply With Law
    [East African] Tanzania is set to restructure its troubled mining sector after the government gave mining companies three months to comply with new guidelines, which give local mining firms and financial institutions preference.
  • Africa:Stability in Southern Africa Hinges On How Leaders Gain and Lose Power
    [The Conversation Africa] While each country in Southern Africa has its own politics, recent developments involving presidents provide interesting contrasts across the region. Which presidents gain and lose power in 2018 - and how they do so - will have significance for the region as a whole, not least in helping determine its continued stability.

Traditionally, Democratic Party presidential candidates build coalition primarily with liberal interest groups, which are mostly racial minorities and working class Americans.  This was how Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton won presidential elections. But this time around in this bizarre politicking that gave us Donald Trump, things are upside town and normality is absconded.  Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate for Democratic Party has widened her coalition to connote some Republicans party members that have abandon Trump due to his erratic and unconventional roller coaster campaign. 


Even few Republican Party elected lawmakers have come out in public and said they will vote for Hillary Clinton. The Republicans for Clinton are citing that Trump is not ready to lead America in the turbulent 21st century world.



Clinton has meticulously expanded her coalition by arguing that Trump was an aberration and outside the scope of conservative circle and ideology. She even mentioned Senator John McCain, a Republican stalwart and former presidential candidate that was heaped with insult by Donald Trump by making light of his war record. Clinton reminded conservative America that McCain as a war hero deserved respect for his service to America.  Her ceaseless appeal to conservatives and Republicans was centered on utilizing anywhere Trump has a gap or misstep with his party to reinforce his vulnerability. 



Even in one of her political campaigns, Clinton was quoting a GOP conservative economist Mark Zandi, a one-time policy adviser to John McCain.  She was using Zandi’s economic commentary to topple and demolish Donald Trump economic policy. 



Clinton in her own words:

“One of John McCain’s former economic advisers actually calculated what would happen to our country if Trump gets his way. He described the results of a Trump recession. We would lose 3.5 million jobs. Incomes would stagnate. Debt would explode. And stock prices would plummet.”
In her address at the Democratic National Convention, Clinton asked the ecstatic crowd: "You really think Donald Trump has the temperament to be commander in chief?"  And they enthusiastically said, “No."


Then she delivered the venom:
"A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons."   She is now applying the tactics with reinforcement on Republicans who doubts Trump readiness to be commander-in-chief.


Hillary Clinton appeal to Republican Party members is probably bearing fruits. Some of the Republicans that might vote for Clinton are doing it not because they have seen the light and abandon conservative ideology. They are rather saying that Trump does not have the temperament to be American president and this is exactly what Clinton wants them to believe.




Emeka  Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning including tagteam Harvard Education. 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

“Ceaseless jacking up of interest rate will further soften naira, impeding industrial growth and accelerating inflationary trends.”

 

 

Nigeria is in dire economic straits and the de-pegging of the naira is not making things better in foreseeable future. As unrestricted naira continues to float, its value nosedives, weakens and deteriorates. Naira at one point in the forex market was trading at 377 to a dollar, fast approaching the value at the parallel market. Since the introduction of naira as a national currency, even with abundant foreign revenue, naira has not been properly managed. The problem of naira was rooted on fundamental mismanagement of the economy that heavily depended on crude oil export for foreign exchange.




The recent hiking of the interest rate by 200 basic points from 12 percent to 14 percent may actually undermine pro-growth and pro-solvency policy.  Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its monetary policy committee intention for the hiking of the interest rate was to attract investors in the capital market portfolio and rein in the rising inflationary trends. 




But the downside is that Nigeria’s economic quagmire maybe too stubborn for the theoretical application of the textbook monetary policy.  Already Nigeria is stepping into recession with first quarter GDP contradiction by -0.4 percent and anticipated -1.8 percent in the second quarter. The ceaseless hiking of interest rate will not stimulate growth but rather have a contradictory effect. Ceaseless jacking up of interest rate will further soften naira, impeding industrial growth and accelerating inflationary trends.



The floating of naira and dwindling foreign exchange pose a challenge that is beyond the CBN weak hand of its monetary policy. With the sagging of naira comes an increasing inflationary trend.   According to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) the inflation rate stands at 16.5 percent and rising. The reality is that the given inflation rate is not even buttressing the level of suffering and hopelessness in the country.  That is why many economist and financial managers are questioning the validity and veracity of the numbers coming from the National Bureau of statistics (NBS).



Take for instance, the prices of the basic staple foods including rice, beans and garri are almost beyond the purchasing power of average Obi, Musa or Dele. Too many families are not adequately eating three square meals.



As interest rate hiking continues in order to control rising inflation, the prices of food products will continue to be higher. The doors of hunger and starvation are opening wider for more poor and working class Nigerians.  This is not good at all, CBN must be careful by not making things worse by their active usage of the instrument of contraction to invigorate naira.


The danger with hiking of interest rate is the enhancement of the mopping of liquidity in already credit crunch market. It will further restrict loquacious flow of naira and discourage business community from getting loans for further commercial expansion. Even with intensive de-watering of the liquidity, the culminated harsher credit crunch will cause commercial slow down and closures.



With higher borrowing rates, products become more expensive and the rudimentary consumers bear the brunt of it. As the inflationary trend increases the CBN will continue to hike the interest rate and the misery index will continue to deepen. The attraction of portfolio investor’s maybe a pipe dream, if not elusive, because investors especially the foreigners do not have affirmative impression of the macroeconomic stability and wellbeing of the country. 



Emeka  Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning including tagteam Harvard Education. 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

 

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Strategic Research and Analysis

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