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You are here:Home>>Vincent Ogboi>>Displaying items by tag: Nigeria
Displaying items by tag: Nigeria
Saturday, 18 June 2011 14:08

Nigeria's Inflation Rises to 12.4%

The Rising Inflation Rate contradicts CBN policy and its measures

The report coming from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is not a good news for Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) because the inflation rate was reported at 12.4 percent. The recent numbers from NBS have shown that inflationary trends are not cooling down but rather are surging. The composite Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 12.4 percent; CPI is used to measure inflation level in the country. This is disappointing phenomena because it does not bold well neither it is conducive for economic growth. While inflation rate of month of April was 11.3 percent, the increasing rate of April has shown that CBN may be losing the battle at arresting the inflationary enemy as they promised.

The tightening of the monetary policy maybe losing its grove, and it is beginning to look that it is beyond the power of CBN's application of monetary policy that comes with tinkling of the interest rate to reduce inflation. The usage of interest rate tinkling to control inflation may has limited effect and maybe waning. Nigerian economy has structural problem that must be corrected to be able to control inflation. The importation of essential commodities with its rising prices and the rising prices of food, petroleum and accommodations are causing the rising inflation.

Obinna Chima, financial Reporter at Thisday wrote, "Worried by rising inflationary pressure in the country, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which is chaired by the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had surprisingly raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 7.5 per cent, to 8 per cent at its last meeting. The Committee which also lifted the Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) had expressed its desire to battle inflation which has stubbornly remained at double digits, to single digit rate.

Most analysts attributed the hike in inflation to the rise in price of some household items, building materials and rents. They specifically pointed out that the high cost in kerosene and diesel contributed to the significant rise recorded in the CPI."

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), "The urban ‘All Items’ monthly index rose by 0.2 percent while the corresponding rural index rose by 1.5 percent when compared with the preceding month. The year-on-year average consumer price level as at May 2011 for Urban and Rural dwellers rose by 11.5 and 13 percent respectively.

"The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending May 2011 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 12.6 per cent. This was slightly lower than the figure for the preceding month. The average monthly food prices declined by 0.3 percent in May 2011 compared with April 2011 figure. The level of the Composite Food Index (CFI) was higher than the corresponding level a year ago by 12.2 percent."

Nigerian government has been increasing spending while at same time having large trade deficits with some trading partners due to increased spending and importation. Another source of the rising inflation may come from the massive and continuous borrowings of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Nigeria has been borrowing heavily lately in order to finance the rebuilding and renovations of infrastructures.

The myriad issues that contributed to the rising inflation including the massive amount of money injected into the circulation to ease credit crunch. The recapitalization of the failed banks and the buying of the toxic assets of the failed banks introduced equally a large sum into the monetary base.

The scarcity of petroleum products especially kerosene with the long queuing lines in Lagos and rest of the country has brought about hoarding and subsequent higher price. The refining of oil outside Nigeria and importation of petrol at this era of the global rising prices of petroleum are major contributing factors to inflation. Things of these nature and others are triggering higher inflation rate and rising inflationary trends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 16 June 2011 00:54

What Mr. President must do to succeed

 

Although I was one of those Nigerians who underestimated the ability of Mr. President to conduct a free and fair election due to his interest in the Presidential race, I have come to realize that it was a misplaced thought. He has done well in that aspect, at least far better than the past since the return of Nigeria to democratic governance.

The road is clear and it is now for Mr. President to start delivering dividends of democracy to the people, especially on the promises he made to the Nigerian people in their geopolitical zones. The first thing that will make him succeed is a good, reliable and youthful cabinet that is made up of energetic (not weak), young (not old or too old), experienced (not inexperienced), selfless (not selfish and greedy), patriotic (not sabotaging) and God-fearing (not cultic) Nigerian citizens.

 

If that is done, then let him consider this agenda for his first tenure of four years. First, let him discard clustering agenda. The clustering of projects every year has not yielded any good in our developmental stride. A review of the past governments even at the state level has depicted that embarking on so many projects at the same time end up sharing the people’s fortune to a very few individuals. Such monies are often diverted into private pockets and have hardly been accounted for.

 

So, in the best interest of the country and its good people, the President should get closer to the masses to win their love, admiration and support. He must be reminded that God’s real love is with the poor and the down-trodden. He should embark on those projects that have direct impact on the masses. He has no option than to succeed because he has come at a time when any little positive change will distinguish him from the past.

 

I so dearly wish Mr. President takes one or two sectors every year, and not all the sectors at a time. What I imply is that while greater attention is paid to the sector of choice due to its exigency to the nation, other sectors would receive minimal attention. For instance, Mr. President should devote greater human and material resources to the power sector this year. By the end of 2011, a visible positive change can manifest.

 

Although 2011 has only six months to go, I still insist that the first sector whose fixing will give way to development in Nigeria is the power sector. Once Nigerians can have stable power supply, not only that business and industrial activities will thrive, jobs will be created through the birth of more industries and on the other hand, criminality will drastically reduce. A survey has shown that most of the criminal activities carried out by Nigerians are not unconnected to joblessness and idleness. So whatever this will take Mr. President in terms of money, Nigerians would not hesitate to give him the support he needs.

 

But before this can work, he should summon all those who import generators into this country and give them ultimatum to stop such. This can also work if he can assure them of other business opportunities which they can engage to make legitimate livelihood. But if such importation is contraband, then the Nigeria Custom and Immigration Service departments of the Ministry of Interior must be queried and cleansed. This is part of factors that have militated against the fixing of the power sector. Then, the NEPA or PHCN should be chastised.

 

In 2012, Mr. President should take on the education sector. It has been observed that our educational system has become so bad that some Nigerians prefer to send their children and wards to nearby countries like Ghana for studies. Also, it can be attested to that private school proprietors have mortgaged our educational sector. Hardly can any public school in any part of the country claim excellence. At the end, half baked students prepared by half baked teachers and instructors are produced from our public schools. Ignorance and half education are quite dangerous to the society. In Abuja and its environs, public schools are nothing to write home about. There are Government Secondary Schools at Lugbe along Airport Road and Aso in Mararaba where learning has remained a nightmare for students.

 

Mr. President should summon all the school proprietors from the nursery to tertiary level to discuss way forward for our education. Some of them should sell their schools to government or go into partnership to save the situation. Again, the Federal Government should attempt declaration of free education for certain percentage of the Nigerian citizens, especially the underprivileged. All the exchange scholarships between Nigeria and other countries should be channeled to the underprivileged who are definitely smarter, more serious and more patriotic.

 

Mr. President should also mandate every state to collaborate with the Federal Government in establishing a Federal University and a Federal Polytechnic in those states where there is either one or none. All the states of the federation should be mandated to declare effective, efficient and well-coordinated and monitored compulsory free education to the secondary school level. Those states which can afford to extend the free education to tertiary levels should be encouraged. After one year of complete attention to the education sector, Mr. President will choose another sector of choice.

 

Preferably in 2013, all attention should be turned to agriculture. Under this sector, a lot should be done. The groundnut pyramids should be rebuilt. The cocoa farms should be enlarged. Cassava farming and processing should be practically mechanized as Mr. President promised many times during his campaigns. All related industries in agriculture whether in stock, fishing and birds with the stability in power supply would have naturally began to grow from strength to strength.

 

In 2014, there should be focus on transportation and its diversification. Aggressive efforts should be laid on road constructions that link all parts of the country. For instance, there should be express double lane roads linking the North and Southeast, the Southsouth and the North, the Southwest and the Southeast and the North and Southwest. Many of the forests are just occupying spaces that can be used for roads. But before then, there is need to rehabilitate the existing federal roads linking states so that the armed robbery cases and accidents on them can be curbed. Maybe the President needs to query those contractors handling the dualization project of the Abuja-Lokoja Road which has taken so long to complete. Also, the former Ajaokuta Toll Gate junction has become a death trap.

 

Of equal importance, the airports and the seaports should be thoroughly tackled. Many more rivers should be dredged to enhance transportation by water. Mr. President should think of re-establishing the Nigerian Airways, despite all odds of the past. It is unbelievable that a country called Nigeria does not have a national carrier. Even if it is to be managed by the private sector in order to ensure efficiency and entrepreneurship, the name Nigeria Air is very dear to many Nigerians, including this writer. So, the President should summon transporters like Peace Mass Transit and others who have made tremendous efforts to link up the whole country in the transportation system by considering the masses even during festive periods as well as employing the teeming youths.

 

I do not attach much interest in Nigeria spending heavily on security. Interestingly, Nigeria has been blessed with world-class security intelligence and defence that can protect her from any external aggressions. Our security threats are all internal. And their architects are Nigerians themselves. That is why it has been difficult to quell, because many innocent citizens would be victims if force is to be applied. But we all know the causes of these civil disturbances and even the brains behind them are known to the authorities concerned. The problem is the lack of political will to face the so-called godfathers, moneybags, politicians, or whatever name to end this menace. Kidnapping is on. Armed robbery is a daily occurrence in one part or the other of the country. When you see the rampaging youths on the screens of television, one is convinced that they cannot have the money to buy the heavy and sophisticated weapons they carry. Yesterday, it was militancy in the Niger Delta. Today, it is Boko Haram in the far North. Who knows the next tomorrow?

 

Mr. President is the Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces and thus the Chief Security Officer of the nation. Let him identify those behind the gruesome killing of the citizens in Jos and Borno and bring them to book. He should also ensure that all those behind the murder of Nigerian youths in Bauchi, in Akwa Ibom, in Niger, in Kaduna, among others are exposed after the Sheikh Lemu led-panel must have submitted its report. There should be no dilly-dallying over the loss of innocent citizens.

 

By 2015 when Mr. President would be getting ready to conduct another freer and fairer elections, our power, education, agriculture, transport and security sectors (FIVE SECTORS) would have been stabilized. I will personally push for his second term. God bless our collective efforts to make Nigeria great.

 

Muhammad Ajah is a writer, author, advocate of humanity and good governance based in Abuja E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Published in Archive
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 12:36

President Jonathan goes to White House

Nigeria's President Jonathan goes to Washington

President Barack Obama has invited his Nigerian counterpart President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan to White House  on official visit scheduled for June 8th, 2011. This is an important invitation and has strategic implications as President Jonathan commenced to assume responsibilities as president of Nigeria. This invitation is beyond drinking of tea and other diplomatic niceties at White House, it is essentially rested on developing and consolidating relationship for mutual interest.

 As an emerging nation and giant of Africa, Nigeria is playing a vital role in the continent supplying the largest peace keeping force for peace making and conflict resolutions in Africa. And with increasing Nigerian prestige, together with the last successful election, Washington is extending a solid hand of continuing friendship recognizing quite well that China is becoming a key business partner in Nigeria and Africa.

 U.S. President Obama shakes hands with Nigerian ...President Jonathan in White House

From any point you look at it, Nigeria is a force for good in Africa. South Africa's economic power notwithstanding, Nigeria is the most important country in Africa. Apart from being the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria with her economic reform and accelerating economic growth is poised to become the richest and largest economy in Africa in the near future.

 Nigeria is the sociological and cultural leader in the African world; defining and setting trends on what it means to be an African in 21st century. Most importantly, Nigeria is making waves in scientific innovations, business, sports and arts with the help of Nigerian Diasporas in US and around world, together with the help of ever growing and influential Nollywood .

 Nigeria needs United States of America and vice versa. This is a meeting of mutual respect that will enable a better understanding of the world largest economy America and a vibrant emerging nation Nigeria.  America needs a partner in Africa to tackle many issues of trade, terrorism, health and climate changes. Nigeria with its ample human and natural resources can able to do it with a well-discipline leadership found in President Jonathan.

 The intrinsic point to make here is that Mr. Jonathan's hand is strengthened as a leader democratically elected by the people, as his mandate came from the consent of the populace. What took place in Nigeria in the last election gave President Jonathan a resounding victory and it was anything short of historic. Both local and international observers accepted the election process and outcome to be relatively free and fair. Some have even called it the freest and fairest election in Nigeria.

 The internal politics and state of affairs of countries are significant because it becomes a barometer to quantify respect that a president is accorded by the outsiders especially in this case of Nigeria's leader invitation to the White House. It is good for President Jonathan because he represents a new face of the emerging democratic Nigeria.

 President Jonathan  won his election by going to the people and asking for their votes and mandate; and America respects a leader who understand the power of the people and who honors the genuine wishes of the people. In other means the president coming to Washington is an invitation based on merit and mutual interest.

Goodluck Jonathan and Barack Obama - Pesident Obama Hosts World Leaders At Nuclear Security Summit

The policy makers and leaders of most dynamic democracy, United States will listen to the words of the Nigerian president for they know quite well that he is speaking for the entire people of Nigeria for he was truly elected by the people of Nigeria. The election of a leader by the ballot papers is very important because it is a mark of advanced civilization and respect of rule of law.

 President Obama knew quite well that President Jonathan is a serious and discipline leader. When Mr. Jonathan uttered the right words and asked thatnobody should rig for him in the past election. President Jonathan lived up to his utterance by rejection election riggings and shenanigans. By so doing he formulated a bright and enriched future for his nation.

At the dawn of 21st century Nigeria needs friends like America who will be willing to offer a true friendship based on mutual respect as they tackled African existential problems in particular and global problems in general. Therefore the second outing of President Jonathan to Washington is a good thing for it will enable both parties to forge and further a partnership that will aid to further peace, co-operation, capitalism and democracy in Nigeria and Africa.

President and Governors Inauguration Ceremonies   

 Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in for his first full elected term at the helm of Africa's most populous nation on Sunday faced with the challenge of driving reform and trying to heal regional rifts. Heads of state from across Africa, foreign dignitaries, religious leaders and traditional rulers gathered in Eagle Square in the centre of Abuja for the ceremony and a military parade to mark the start of his four-year term. "Together we will unite our nation, improve the living standards of all our people, whether in the north or in the south, in the east or in the west," Jonathan said in a speech after taking the oath of office.   -  Guardian UK

President Jonathan

Vice-President Sambo

Lagos governor Fashola

Enugu Governor Chime

Kwara Governor Ahmed

Plateau Governor Jang

Yobe Governor Gaidam

Kano Governor Kwankwaso(L)

Kaduna Governor Yakwowa

Delta Governor Uduaghan

Foreign Heads of State in Abuja

Children dancing in Abuja

L - Bankole and Mark

Picture credits: ThisDay

I’ll never, never let you down - •President Jonathan

Published in Archive

President Goodluck Jonathan’s inauguration address on the occasion of his swearing-in as President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria on May 29, 2011.

PROTOCOL

1. My Dear Compatriots, I stand in humble gratitude to you, this day, having just sworn to the oath of office as President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of our great nation.

2. I thank you all, fellow citizens, for the trust and confidence, which you have demonstrated through the power of your vote. I want to assure you, that I will do my utmost at all times, to continue to deserve your trust.

3. I would like to specially acknowledge the presence in our midst today, of Brother Heads of State and Government, who have come to share this joyous moment with us. Your Excellencies, I thank you for your solidarity. I also wish to express my gratitude, to the Representatives of Heads of State and Government who are here with us. My appreciation also goes to the chairperson of the African Union and other world leaders, our development partners, and all our distinguished guests.

4. I want to specially thank all Nigerians for staying the course in our collective commitment to build a democratic nation. To members of the PDP family and members of other political parties, who have demonstrated faith in our democratic enterprise, I salute you.

5. At this juncture, let me acknowledge and salute my friend and brother, Vice-President Namadi Sambo; and my dear wife, Patience, who has been a strong pillar of support.

6. I thank her for galvanizing and mobilizing Nigerian women for the cause of democracy. In the same vein, I owe a debt of gratitude to my mother and late father. I cannot thank them enough.

7. I cannot but paytribute to our late President, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, with whom we won the Presidential election four years ago, when I contested as his running mate. May God bless his soul.

8. I also wish to pay tribute to our founding fathers, whose enduring sacrifices and abiding faith in the unity and greatness of our country, laid the foundation for the nation. We take enormous pride in their contributions. The pivotal task of this generation is to lift our fatherland to the summit of greatness.

9. Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, earlier this year, over seventy-three million eligible Nigerians endured all manner of inconvenience just to secure their voters cards,in order to exercise the right to choose those that will govern them.

10. At the polls, we saw the most dramatic expressions of the hunger for democracy. Stories of courage and patriotism were repeated in many ways, including how fellow citizens helped physically challenged voters into polling stations to enable them exercise their franchise. The inspiring story of the one hundred and three year-old man, and many like him across the country, who struggled against the physical limitations of age to cast their vote, is noteworthy.

11. Such determination derives from the typical Nigerian spirit of resilience in the face of the greatest of odds. That spirit has, over the years, stirred our hopes, doused our fears, and encouraged us to gather ourselves to build a strong nation even when others doubted our capacity.

12. Today, our unity is firm, and our purpose is strong. Our determination unshakable. Together, we will unite our nation and improve the living standards of all our peoples whether in the North or in the South; in the East or in the West. Our decade of development has begun. The march is on. The day of transformation begins today.We will not allow anyone exploit differences in creed or tongue, to set us one against another. Let me at this point congratulate the elected Governors, Senators, members of the House of Representatives and those of the States Houses of Assembly for their victories at the polls.

13. I am mindful that I represent the shared aspiration of all our people to forge a united Nigeria: a land of justice, opportunity and plenty. Confident that a people that are truly committed to a noble ideal, cannot be denied the realization of their vision, I assure you that this dream of Nigeria, that is so deeply felt by millions, will indeed come to reality.

14. A decade ago, it would have been a mere daydream to think that a citizen from a minority ethnic group could galvanize national support, on an unprecedented scale, to discard ancient prejudices, and win the people’s mandate as President of our beloved country. That result emanated from the toil and sacrifice of innumerable individuals and institutions, many of whom may never get to receive public appreciation for their effort.

15. Only a couple of days ago, I received an entry on my Facebook page. It was sent by Mr. Babajide Orevba. He wrote to inform me that I had lost a great fan. That fan was his father, Mr. Emmanuel Bamidele Orevba. The deceased, the son told me, was no politician, but had campaigned enthusiastically for my ticket. Tragically, overwhelmed by the joy of our victory, he collapsed, and passed on three days later. I pray God Almighty to grant his soul eternal rest.

16. The success of the 2011 elections and the widespread acclaim which the exercise received was due to the uncommon patriotism and diligence exhibited by many Nigerians, including members of the Armed Forces, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and others. Unfortunately, despite the free, fair and transparent manner the elections were conducted, a senseless wave of violence in some parts of the country led to the death of ten members of the NYSC and others. These brave men and women paid the supreme sacrifice in the service of our fatherland. They are heroes of our democracy. We offer our heartfelt prayers and condolences in respect of all those who lost their lives.

17. In the days ahead, those of us that you have elected to serve must show that we are men and women with the patriotism and passion, to match the hopes and aspirations of you, the great people of this country. We must demonstrate the leadership, statesmanship, vision, capacity, and sacrifice, to transform our nation. We must strengthen common grounds, develop new areas of understanding and collaboration, and seek fresh ideas that will enrich our national consensus.

18. It is the supreme task of this generation to give hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak and protection to the defenceless.

19. Fellow citizens, the leadership we have pledged is decidedly transformative. The transformation will be achieved in all the critical sectors, by harnessing the creative energies of our people.

20. We must grow the economy, create jobs, and generate enduring happiness for our people. I have great confidence in the ability of Nigerians to transform this country. The urgent task of my administration is to provide a suitable environment, for productive activities to flourish. I therefore call on the good people of Nigeria, to enlist as agents of this great transformation.

21. My dear countrymen and women, being a Nigerian is a blessing. It is also a great responsibility. We must make a vow that, together, we will make the Nigerian Enterprise thrive.

22. The leadership and the followership must strive to convert our vast human and natural resources into the force that leads to a greater Nigeria. The Nigeria of our dreams must be built on hard work and not on short cuts. Let me salute the Nigerian workers who build our communities, cities and country. They deserve fair rewards, and so do the women that raise our children, and the rural dwellers that grow our food.

23. The moment is right. The signs are heart-warming. We are ready to take off on the path of sustained growth and economic development. In our economic strategy, there will be appropriate policy support to the real sector of the economy, so that Small and Medium Enterprises may thrive. Nigeria is blessed with enormous natural wealth, and my Administration will continue to encourage locally owned enterprises to take advantage of our resources in growing the domestic economy. A robust private sector is vital to providing jobs for our rapidly expanding population. But this must be a collaborative effort.

24. We must form technical and financial partnerships with global businesses and organizations. We live in an age where no country can survive on its own; countries depend on each other for economic well-being. Nigeria is no different. Returns on investment in Nigeria remain among the highest in the world. We will continue to welcome sustainable investment in our economy.

25. We will push programs and policies that will benefit both local and foreign businesses, but we must emphasize mutual benefits and win-win relationships. The overall ongoing reforms in the banking and financial sectors are therefore designed to support the real sector of the economy.

26. To drive our overall economic vision, the power sector reform is at the heart of our industrialization strategy. I call on all stakeholders, to cooperate with my administration, to ensure the success of the reforms.

27. Over the next four years, attention will be focused on rebuilding our infrastructure. We will create greater access to quality education and improved health care delivery. We will pay special attention to the agricultural sector, to enable it play its role of ensuring food security and massive job creation for our people.

28. The creation of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority will immensely contribute to strengthening our fiscal framework, by institutionalizing savings of our commodity-related revenues. With this mechanism in place, we will avoid the boom and bust cycles,and mitigate our exposure to oil price volatility.

29. The lesson we have learnt is that the resolution of

the Niger Delta issue is crucial for the health of the nation’s economy. In the interest of justice, equity and national unity, we shall actively promote the development of the region. I believe that peace is a necessary condition for development.

30. Fellow citizens, in every decision, I shall always place the common good before all else. The bane of corruption shall be met by the overwhelming force of our collective determination, to rid our nation of this scourge. The fight against corruption is a war in which we must all enlist, so that the limited resources of this nation will be used for the growth of our commonwealth.

31. I am confident that we have every reason to lookto the future with hope. We owe ourselves and posterity the duty of making this country respectable in the comity of nations. Nigeria, as a responsible member of the international community, will remain committed to the maintenance of global peace and security. We will continue to play an active role in the United Nations. Our role in the African Union, ECOWAS, and the Gulf of Guinea will be enhanced to ensure greater human and energy security.

32. Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a new dawn for Africa. We fought for decolonization.We will now fight for democratization. Nigeria, in partnership with the African Union, will lead the process for democracy and development in Africa. In particular, we will support the consolidation of democracy, good governance and human rights in the continent. Africa must develop its vast resources to tackle poverty and under-development.

33. Conscious of the negative effect of insecurity on growth and development, my Administration will seek collaboration at bilateral and multilateral levels, to improve our capability in combating trans-border crimes. In this regard, we will intensify our advocacy against the illicit trades in small arms and light weapons, which have become the catalyst for conflicts on the African continent. All Nigerian diplomatic missions abroad are to accord this vision of defending the dignity of humanity the highest priority.

34. My fellow countrymen and women, Nigeria is not just a land of promise; it shall be a nation where positive change will continue to take place, for the good of our people. The time for lamentation is over. This is the era of transformation. This is the time for action. But Nigeria can only be transformed if we all play our parts with commitment and sincerity. Cynicism and skepticism will not help our journey to greatness. Let us all believe in a new Nigeria. Let us work together to build a great country that we will all be proud of. This is our hour.

35. Fellow Compatriots, lift your gaze towards the horizon. Look ahead and you will see a great future that we can secure with unity, hard work and collective sacrifice.

36. Join me now as we begin the journey of transforming Nigeria.

· I will continue to fight, for your future, because I am one of you.

· I will continue to fight, for improved medical care for all our citizens.

· I will continue to fight for all citizens to have access to first class education.

· I will continue to fight for electricity to be available to all our citizens.

· I will continue to fight for an efficient and affordable public transport system for all our people.

· I will continue to fight for jobs to be created through productive partnerships.

37. You have trusted me with your mandate,and I will never, never let you down.

38. I know your pain, because I have been there. Look beyond the hardship you have endured. See a new beginning;a new direction;a new spirit.

39. Nigerians, I want you to start to dream again. What you see in your dreams, we can achieve together. I call upon all the Presidential candidates who contested with me to join hands with us as we begin the transformation of our country.

40. Let us work together; let us build together; let us bequeath a greater Nigeria to the generations to come.

41. I thank you! God bless you all! And God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

"Among the heads of state in attendance were Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe); Sirleaf Ellen-Johnson (Liberia); Atta Mills (Ghana); Abdoulaye Wade (Senegal); Allasane Ouattara (Cote d’Ivoire); Joseph Kabila (Congo DCR); Jacob Zuma (South Africa); among others from Mali, Uganda, Sao Tome and Principe, Benin Republic, Chad, Zambia, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Rwanda, Saharawi Republic, Seirraleon, Trinidad and Tobago, Togo, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Vice President of Kenya, Vice President of Burundi, Vice President Gambia, Vice President of Republic of Korea, Vice President of Zambia, Prime Minister of Georgia, Prime Minister of Swaziland, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, former President of Zambia and a special envoy of the President of China.

Nigerian formers leaders who graced the occasion included Yakubu Gowon, Abdusalami Abubakar, and ex-presidents Shehu Shagari, Olusegun Obasanjo and former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme.

Conspicuously absent were Ibrahim Babangida; former Vice President; Atiku Abubakar who vied for the PDP ticket with Jonathan, as well as Muhammed Buhari, who lost to the president in the April polls."

Tuesday, 17 May 2011 12:58

Nigeria: The way forward

Nigeria from Brain drain to Brain gain

Now that Nigeria has completed what is perceived by many as a relatively free and fair election, even though the elections cannot be termed as uneventful or completely free or short of its usual short-comings such as elections fraud, religious riots, as is common with many elections, it can still be judged a success by most standards.

It appears that Nigeria’s Independent electoral Commission and the electorate are determined more than ever to continue on this trajectory of free and fair elections that is needed to entrench their democracy which although still in its infancy can now begin to mature.

President Jonathan Goodluck, the newly elected President must now let his good luck charm which he is known and widely judged to possess through his short history of 48 years to shine on Nigeria. Mr. Jonathan Goodluck while ushering in a new era must create an enabling environment that will allow Nigeria to unleash her potential both in human and natural resources to the full benefit of her masses with a large population base and take its rightful place in the African continent and then the world at large. Nigeria must tap her human and natural resources for massive infrastructural development that will create massive unparalleled employment for the millions of educated but unemployed youth that could be considered a ticking time bomb if continued to be ignored.

This massive employment venture through a bold and massive capital infrastructural construction projects will raise Nigeria’s GDP, boost her much needed infrastructural development, and boost her economic stance, thereby creating a positive domino’s effect which will also raise the standard of living for the masses. The masses of the Nigerian populace, for a long time, have either been stagnant or hovering below the poverty lines while the few and corrupt elite continues to amass wealth by any means necessary, especially through corrupt practices with impunity. This only creates an environment of arrested development when very few live at the expense of very many, it stifles the growth and creation of the middle class. It creates so much inequity in the system that will eventual give rise to the current situation presently going on in the middle east and North Africa (Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and others) if not properly tackled.

It could be a blessing in disguise for Nigeria that a good number of her highly qualified and well educated human resources abound outside her shores in the Diasporas and President Jonathan Goodluck must seize this golden opportunity to turn this once brain drain to her brain gain. This well educated base of Nigerian citizens who are scattered across the globe as a result of a mass exodus during the repressive and corrupt military regimes of the seventies through the Nineties are now ready for Nigeria. These citizens in the Diasporas who are now matured, well seasoned, well educated and highly experienced can do to Nigeria what the Chinese and Indian Diasporas have done for their countries’ economies and Asia in the last ten years. This opportunity, if properly harnessed, can be a win-win situation for Nigeria and President Jonathan Goodluck will be well judged by posterity. This is his moment to write his name in gold in the sand of history. Visionary leaders only get this kind of opportunity once if any in a generation. Nigeria can move from a third world oil based economy to a thriving second world diversified economy if the current crop of leaders can get serious….if Brazil can do it within a very short time span so too can Nigeria!

These Diasporas, who are now highly exposed to the advances in technology in all fields, enlightened in economic activities and have lived in functioning democratic laboratories, can now help stir the Nigeria ship of affairs in the right direction. I am sure that they will be more than happy to give back to their country of birth. Many of these Diasporas left the shores of Nigeria on Government funded scholarships and Nigeria has failed to reap the benefits of her investments, largely due to her myopic vision or lack of visionary leaders …Another of many wasted opportunities.

With the price crude oil hovering between 90 and 100 dollars a barrel, Nigeria being a member of the OPEC, should be flush with the financial resources assuming it is well managed, so without further delay or worry about the cost of this venture, Nigeria should begin to engage the educated populace both at home and in the diasporas. This can be the catalyst that will bring her vision of being one of the greatest economies by the year 2020 to fruition. It may not be a cheap proposition but guaranteed it will be an investment that is worth its salt that Nigeria cannot afford not to make, because both the present and the future generations will benefit immensely from this huge but expensive venture. China and India have done it and why must Nigeria be different and continue to be the dumping ground for poor outdated, failed or rejected technologies from the world over just because she adamantly refuses to engage and reward her qualified and educated citizens. The very essence of good governance is to take care and look out for your citizens first and foremost then everything else is secondary. Until Nigeria leaders understand this common and basic philosophy they may never get it right. A zero tolerance for corrupt practices with impunity should be adopted immediately.

Nigeria’s soon to be sworn in crop of new leaders, from May 29, 2011 must begin to lift her people up from the present stagnation that they have unfairly suffered as a result of bad governance and un abating corruption since independence from Britain through no fault of their own. Nigeria‘s other important task ahead must now be to garnish all the tools at her disposal to confront and take down this monster called corruption, provide steady and reliable electricity , a very important and basic ingredient for industrialization. It will not be easy; sacrifices will have to be made by all. Nigeria leaders must start by giving up the "immunity clause" guaranteed in their constitution that prevents prosecutions of corrupt or inept office holders while in office. It is just an unfair passport to loot the nation’s treasury all you can while in office and it has not helped Nigeria in any fashion. Nigeria can also start by building layers of checks and balances in a system where there is none while transparency should be their working motto…President Jonathan Goodluck must make this a priority in Abuja.

Goodluck and Congratulations to President Jonathan Goodluck for the success in the elections!!

Vincent OgboiMr. Vincent Ogboi, is an advocate for transparency good governance and a Resident Analytical writer for AFRIPOL Organization. He is a Civil Engineer by training, with a vast experience in the Global financial and economic trends due to his continuous participation and exposure in the US Stock Exchanges. He has worked for both Private and Public entities including City and State Governments in America. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it http://afripol.org/vincent-ogboi.html

 

 

 

Published in Vincent Ogboi
Friday, 06 May 2011 13:23

NIGERIAN ECONOMY AND IMF FORECASTING

IMF comes with depressing forecast of lower productivity and higher inflation

There is no doubt about this assertion; International Monetary Fund (IMF) is adamant and committed about being an important entity on Nigerian economic and financial scene. IMF the self-appointed chief financial adviser to Nigeria has made its annual econometric forecast on country’s economy. IMF the bearer of the depressing news is predicting that Nigerian economy will slow down from its above 8 percent growth to 6.9 percent, thus resulting to a GDP lowered by 17.9 percent. Still on the bad news IMF said the economic slowdown will be accompanied with higher inflation.

IMF do not produce any commodity or provide a recognized service that contribute to growing of the country‘s economy. Rather IMF officials have managed to have the ears of the managers of the economy simply on the ground that it is a global monetary and financial institute. But Nigeria must ask herself what has IMF done for her lately.

What has IMF done for Nigeria? That is an easy question to answer; lately IMF has advised Nigeria to devalue her currency naira without giving a logical reason for their advice. For naira that is already weakening by rising inflation to be devalued is for Nigeria to be inviting economic woes voluntarily. Nigeria with undiversified economy with crude oil as a major export to venture to the path of currency devaluation is trekking to road of higher inflation, higher prices of essential commodities and slows down of economic output.

IMF assertion and extrapolation on the Nigerian economy was not elaborated with a particular point of view, principle, proofs and genesis of the declaration. On what logic and economic basis are the elites of IMF making this forecast? This is not to cast a doubt or a shadow on their forecasting, but economics is not based on natural laws because it is a social science. In econometric forecasting nothing is written on stones due to the malleability of economic principle, therefore there is a quantifiable probability that IMF forecasting may not come true.

Nigerian economic and financial gatekeepers must take this with a grain of salt, as an opportunity to review their economic inventory and make necessary adjustments where needed. But one thing that they cannot afford to do is to swallow it as a given, without ready to make their research and analysis. Nigerians must not say ok! And sit down waiting for the rough times to come. The country must be pro-active and be in charge of their economic destiny not waiting for IMF to tell them what to do.

The point must be made perfectly clear that Nigeria should listen to IMF by separating the grain from the chaff. In some aspects of Nigerian economy IMF has some good points. In terms of cutting down on spending and slowing down on the excessive borrowing, there are truths to that. But in some cases when rising spending becomes inevitable as resources are being invested on the people with regards to providing education facilities and social infrastructures, then it will be a return that will eclipse the down side of increasing spending. There are investments on the society and the people that may have short term effects including budget deficits but at the long run it will aid to strengthen the nation by increasing productivity and wellbeing.

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L-R: FINANCE MINISTER, DR OLUSEGUN AGANGA AND CBN GOVERNOR, MALAM LAMIDO SANUSI

Instead of IMF over emphasising about economic slowdown in Nigeria, it should also look at the positive development and growing maturity of the country. IMF can put more emphasis on the economic correlation between increasing investments and good elections. IMF can use their global megaphone and tell the rest of the world that credible election held in Nigeria shows stability and continuation, that Nigeria is truly ready to do business with world. That can help to attract foreign investments thus averting economic slowdown.

 IMF should and can significantly impact the country positively by counseling Nigeria on how energy conservation and its availability can help to checkmate inflation and trade deficits. When Nigeria has ample electric energy to operate their local industries that can ultimately aid to retard and stop excessive and unnecessary importations.

The point to be made is that IMF can go beyond the gateway of financial control. But also IMF can enhance its responsibility as a financial disciplinarian by becoming a cheerleader to a documented progress in a nation and that can in turn bring in goodwill and economic gains.

 

 

Published in Archive

 

NIGERIANS BE WISE. VOTE WISE!

The other day I wrote about Nigeria being a repairable country if only we as a people are ready to be lead by men and women who can sacrifice their all for our dream, we will get there by far faster than we can think. Those in this mould can only be tested Nigerians in their various endevours, people who in some ways have ventured to put their lives on the line for the survival of this country. Why so? The example we have has confirmed that since those we have in authority did not lift a pin to be where they are now, they fell good to think that we must consider them first before the nation. If our leader in the senate think that they are sacrificial (and l have not seen any sacrifice I any of them), what would cause them to increase their allocation despite the out cry world wide only last year when the Central Bank Governor challenged them to prove that they are not the consumers of the nations one third income. The worse they have done has been to threaten the ready man with termination of appointment.

By the end of next month only few days from now, some few variables now will be as sure as certain. One the general election would have been held and concluded – l pray God. Winners would have emerged among all the parties and losers would be counting their losses as well as tinkering the next option usually the courts as the last alternative and why not? After all, some governors and legislators today won their election from the court rooms. Some of those who would prefer the court option are those who would have been cheated outright. Finally, it will be a field day for the lawyers a defining moment for them to take their turn in the “Chop I chop” syndrome which is synonymous with Nigerian politics. For them, it will be another call to duty and validly so too.

Since political campaigns kicked off nationwide, we have seen the big players and the pretenders as well as those who are not there at all. Or didn’t we register more than 50 political parties in Nigeria? How many of them have candidates from the presidency down the line in all the states of the federation? Before now, politicians had handled the issues of election with kid globing. Most political Parties never had corporate offices even in Abuja how much less state and local government head quarters. Yet they collected the subventions due all parties, were never audited nor were their national officers and offices ever known. What has happened to the parties? Were they an organization of people put together only to milk the Federal Government? We can only confirm from the loud silence of the other parties that they never had all it takes to be called a party in the first place. While agreeing that not all the parties can produce presidential candidates, can we also be forced to agree that they parties never had any political base? From where did they spring up? By their fruits we have known them, and that also goes for all the existing parties, their candidates and representatives through whom we can mirror the performance of both the parties, leaders and representatives given the last 12 years of their presence.

In 1999 when the election trumpet was blown, I reviewed the presidential candidates and without fear of favour, lined up with the Obasanjo’s PDP and I had expectations and justifiably so. First, I looked at Obasanjo’s pedigrees, as a past senior military officer and head of state and thought that he would stabilize the polity which at the time was in dare need of repair. Besides, the gap between the military and the politicians then was very wide after more than 30 years of military leadership and with Obasanjo being able to tackle the Babangida’s régime with boldness ala leadership with human face. Second, I thought that with political stability, we would have purposeful leadership which would pursue definite directions, developmental yet measurable goals, which would finally lead us not really to the destination, but a definite road map. Again, I thought that having been so privileged to get out of the lions den without even a scratch, he could be the man who will be as selfless as should be. We are 12 years, on and compared with our colleagues in comity of nations, we have moved at best 20 years backwards! At what cost? Which of these variables are correct? That we have inept leaders or followers; that we have been beaten to pulp such that we have become so complacent that we cannot even see the specks falling into our eyes? The volume of articles written by so many in their attempt to proffer solutions to the Nigerian problems/question, if put together would fill and over flow the National Assembly buildings. Yet I am doubtful if 1% of the suggestions ever reached or was ever read by the desired publics. It is a shame. Obasanjo as president in and out of office once said that he does not read Nigerian Newspapers. So where does his inspiration for good governance come from? The same man is known to be unstable in his love for his wives and children. What are his values? Though his wealth in any currency can better be imagined, but were will he put everything he has been busy gathering ever since even at his age?

As I write, now, news has it that the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has increased their budget from N111.23billion to N233billion a colossal 111 percent. The question to ask is what manner of representatives do we have in Nigeria? The same crops of people were confirmed to earn more than the President of the United States of America just months back. Now with impunity, they raised the bars as if to mean who can challenge us? Nigerians are we there? Are we still free to choose our next representatives? Or are these the crop of men and women we deem fit to hold forth for us? A people get the type of leadership they desire or deserve. The question is before all of us and what we make of it shall be determined by how we resist the status quo next month in a free and fare election. But how ready are we? How sensitized are we? What are the informed doing to help salvage the situation? This is the million dollar question.

In the past, elections have been said to be very expensive. Why not so, because usually a long list is passed from bottom up and with all forms of bogus add on? But Nigeria is in a different planet? In Naira and kobo terms, how much did it cost Barrack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Bambo Mbeiki, Attah Mill and other leader’s world wide to conduct their elections? Compared with Nigeria also, which of these elections were ever successful or a failure and why? How much did Adams Oshomole, Drs Fayemi and Aregbesola expend on their elections compared with that of their counterpart? In Lagos state, how much did the Fashola use compared with that of the PDP candidate?

It is near election in Nigeria and to date INEC itself has not flooded the streets with posters. How can the candidates be imprinted in the heart and minds of the electorate? With Power Holding Company dishing our electricity the way it has, how many are being reached with the TV and Radio adverts? What is the percentage of our newspaper readership in Nigeria? Finally what percentage of the country’s 67 million registered voters are really ready to go and vote based on their awareness? In nearby Ghana, nearly every one know their candidates upfront and usually advance reason in healthy debates even in drinking joints why the opponents must be swayed. Can we safely preach Ribadu in joints in Bayelsa State?

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God is not a politician. But concerned about the leadership of Nigeria, he has prayed his heart out in the belief that God would give us our desired leaders. Today his prayers form part of the Ring tones of all the Net work providers. Christians all over have joined the crusade for right leadership, but can we achieve it with the hawks ever ready for a spoil?

It was late Lucky Dube who sang in the Choice I Made. He wanted to get married and without consultations picked a girl for her beauty. When he informed his mother, she asked about the character but Lucky replied that she was so beautiful. The Priest asked if she was as beautiful inside as she was outside, mum was the word. Months after, Lucky was to put another call to his mother to the effect that he wanted a divorce! He announced that the choice he made didn’t work out as he thought it would.

Lucky Dube is no more; if the experience was real it’s a thing of the past now. But we are a willing people being lead by unwilling fellows. Can we keep mump as if nothing is happening any longer? This is the big question and our answers will be revealed in the choice we make next month with our votes.

NIGERIANS BE WISE. VOTE WISE!

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Saturday, 12 March 2011 14:11

British lawyer pleads guilty to bribery

A British lawyer accused of helping a former Halliburton Co. subsidiary illegally bribe Nigerian officials to win more than $6 billion in construction contracts pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges and was ordered to forfeit nearly $150 million.

Jeffrey Tesler, 62, was charged with conspiracy and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which among other things prohibits payments to foreign government officials to help obtain business. Tesler faces up to five years in prison on each count and up to $250,000 in fines when sentenced June 22. Nine other counts were dismissed under the plea deal.

U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison released Tesler, a dual citizen of Britain and Israel, on $50,000 bond and ordered him to stay in Houston until his sentencing.

Tesler was arrested in London in February 2009, accused of helping steer bribe money from Houston-based Kellogg, Brown & Root LLC to Nigerian government officials to win more than $6 billion in contracts for liquefied natural gas facilities.

The bribery occurred for about 10 years, through 2004, and Tesler was involved in at least four construction contracts, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Stuckwisch said.

"Mr. Tesler knew it was unlawful for him to bribe foreign officials," Stuckwisch told Ellison during Friday's hearing.

Tesler's attorneys unsuccessfully argued that their client shouldn't be extradited because the crimes didn't have a substantial link to the U.S. and the passage of time might prevent a fair trial. The British High Court in January said Tesler could be sent to the U.S.

"You seem an unlikely person to be here," Ellison told Tesler, who stood before the judge Friday wearing olive green jail clothing and in handcuffs and leg chains.

"I agree with that assessment," Tesler replied.

When Ellison said he assumed Tesler was engaged in the bribery "because everybody was doing it," Tesler responded: "I think that's a fair comment."

Tesler's lawyer, Bradley Simon, declined to comment on why his client had taken the plea deal.

Tesler, who surrendered his passport, could face a reduced sentence depending on his continued cooperation with authorities, prosecutors said.

Another British man indicted with Tesler, Wojciech Chodan, pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. His sentencing is set for April 27.

The charges against the pair were part of a U.S. investigation of KBR Inc.'s practices in Nigeria.

In February 2009, KBR pleaded guilty in Houston federal court to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by authorizing and paying bribes from 1995 to 2004 for contracts to build liquefied natural gas facilities on Bonny Island, Nigeria.

The company agreed to pay more than $400 million in fines. A major engineering and construction services company with operations around the world, KBR split from Halliburton in 2007.

KBR's former chief executive, Albert "Jack" Stanley, pleaded guilty in September 2008 for his role in the bribery scheme and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 5.

In December, Nigeria's anti-corruption agency charged current and former KBR and Halliburton executives, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, who at one time led Halliburton, in the bribery scheme. But the charges were dropped a few weeks later after Halliburton agreed to pay a $35 million settlement.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, passed in 1977, prohibits payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business or to secure an advantage to getting the business. Its anti-bribery provisions were broadened in 1998, to apply to foreign firms and persons who directly or through agents allow corrupt payments to take place.

Published in Archive

The devaluation of Naira recommendation by IMF is without logic

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization founded with a prime objective of stabilizing international monetary exchange rates and facilitating development through the application and enforcement of liberalizing economic policies to its 187 member countries which includes Nigeria.

This time around IMF has definitely proven to us that its recent prescription for Nigeria to devalue her currency naira is not based on sound and logical economic proposition. Not that any time in the past that IMF monetary recommendations on and for developing economies have been logical. In the 1980s when many developing nations especially in Africa were cash scrapped and were in deep recession they turned to IMF as a lender of last resort. The period marked the nadir point of haplessness in Africa due to IMF‘s structural adjustment program known as conditional ties given to these countries before they could be eligible for the loans they were asking from the institution.

Nigeria this time is not asking for any intervention from IMF. The economy of Nigeria is growing progressively at above 7 percent and naira is relatively strong and stable. The weak point that can be perceived from the economy is the growing deficit trade especially from China, rising inflationary pressure and continuous depletion of the crude account by excessively withdrawal. Even with that Nigeria has a substantial foreign reserve which falls to U.S $33.12 Billion in January. But thanks to rising oil price the reserve will commence to replenish and grow.

The volume of the foreign reserve is not bad by any standard especially with regards to the country‘s GDP which was growing at 7.4 percent in first quarter 2011. The point is that Nigeria has adequate war chest to defend naira and ward-off aggressive currency speculators. Therefore IMF suggestion that currency is overrated has no basis for Nigeria can defend her currency standing in the global currency market. Moreover the local high demand of dollar has become a check on the value of naira.

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Afripol organization experts discussed the issue of IMF and naira’s devaluation. Afripol concluded that there is absence of monetary logicality for devaluation of naira.

Gideon Nylan, an expert on political economy of developing nations at Afripol, concluded, "The Nigerian middle class has yet to recover from the IMF devaluation of 1986. Suddenly teachers, lawyers, doctors, and civil servants saw their life savings disappeared. In order to support their families and create a better living for themselves, they left the country for greener pastures in other countries."

Emeka Chiakwelu, Principal policy Strategist at Afripol commented, "Bretton Woods institution (IMF) asking Nigeria to devalue her currency is akin to throwing kerosene to a burning fire. There is no logic to that, Nigeria’s currency has already been steadily diminished by the rising inflation and further devaluation is contrary to a sound economic judgment."

Chiakwelu noted that, "IMF should be in business of enhancing an economy by giving logical counsel not by depreciating methodology. IMF has the power to increase Nigeria’s special drawing rights (SDRs) and including naira into ‘basket of currencies’. Instead IMF chose to play a role that will be increasing the price of foods and raw materials in Nigeria by devaluation of naira. "

Beware of Trojan horse coming as IMF helping- hand because history has proven that it has severe ramification. What will be the justification for Nigeria to devalue her currency?

The economy is not wholly export base except crude oil and the economy is not diversified with array 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. By devaluating naira the price of oil will nosedive and country’s foreign reserve will dwindle, while the incentive to buy Nigerian fiduciary bonds and securities in international market will depreciate.

To be factual Nigerian currency naira has already be weaken by rising inflation. At this point in time the inflationary trend is gradually creeping into the monetary base and with that naira is gradually but steadily losing its ground. Therefore what is logic of further devaluating a currency already weaken by rising inflation and by so doing summon a hardship that will be felt by majority of Nigerians. Most of the products and materials utilized by final consumers and raw materials in Nigeria are mostly imported from abroad. With the devaluation of naira importation and oversea products will become more expensive and out of reach of majority of Nigerians.

Devaluation may discourage importation and foreign products in Nigeria as a result of the subsequent appreciation of foreign currencies for trading notably dollar as naira loses value. But with that Nigeria may not gain or take the advantage because the economy is not diversified and our local production is still at the rudimentary stage. Nigerian industries are still dependent on foreign expertise and raw materials to function at a reasonable capacity and with devaluation of naira the prices of dollar and pound will soar with relative to naira. Subsequently, it will have adverse effect in our growing local industries. The prices of food and agricultural products will be high away beyond the masses in a nation where 70 percent of the population survived with less than two dollars per day.

African experience in 1980s with IMF left a bad taste in their mouths, when the cash strapped African nations turn to IMF for credit. It became a disaster for Africa and the consequences of Africa's entanglement with IMF sow the seed for economic depression in today's Africa. IMF‘s conditional ties for loans were so stringent for these nations to swallow. It was called structural adjustment programs which will supposedly reform the economies.

The pathways to IMF’s structural adjustment initiative were paved with hardship and misery. These nations, poor nations of Africa were compelled to cut their spending drastically without putting into consideration the suffering of the masses especially women and children. On the wise counsel of IMF and its Ivy League experts African nations devalued their currencies on the grounds that it will increase export.  They failed to see that most African nations were not producing anything but relied on agricultural crops and donors to finance their budgets. With the devaluation the price of crops decline sharply on the international market and Africa’s yoke enhanced.

The criteria for obtaining loan by devaluation of currency coupled with neo-liberal economic policy based on liberalized trade and open market was once IMF prescription for Nigeria in 1980s. At that point in time Nigeria was being heaped with foreign debt and was falling behind in the service of her foreign debt. Thus it became difficult, if not impossible for the country obtain line of credits unless the swallow the austerity measures given by IMF. The consequences were annihilation of infant industries and untold hardship of average Nigerians. The problem of Nigeria then was more of mismanagement and misplacement of priority.

But that is not the case with the present Nigeria that is not seeking any loan or aid from IMF. Nigeria GDP is bulging with economy projected to grow at more than 7 percent in 2011, although with vulnerabilities of inflation and excessive spending and depletion of foreign reserve. The withdrawal may make sense because the country needs to defend the value and stability of naira from international and aggressive speculators.

Nigerians for one moment can walk a little taller, knowing quite that the caliber of men and women at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) led by Governor Sanusi Lamido are willing to stand up when necessary and defend the economic and financial interest of the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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