Nigerian Investors And Scary Investment Climate | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigerian Investors And Scary Investment Climate

Dr. IkemPost
Posted: May 4, 2016 at 4:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


By Ikem Adimorah

The pitiable state of the nation’s economy is not just a function of oil price fall in the international market and corruption as is being erroneously sold to the people but also as a result of many bad steps and inactions of the federal government. It will be recalled that the government has remained obstinate against the official devaluation of the Naira to reduce the pressure on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for foreign exchange. The recent report that the official demand for forex is over $30billion which is even more than our present foreign reserve put at $27billion is indicative that the economy is in serious danger. This level of forex demand is definitely not all as more are needed by many business people who don’t usually pass through the official bottle necks due to time wastages involved. It is important to also note that many of these forex requests are largely not being met. Some have been with the CBN for more than six months. Equally important is the impression been passed that the apex bank is not fully in charge of monetary policy which experts say deter investors. This notion was suggested when the president said that the CBN is yet to convince him to devalue the Naira.

If peace had been sustained in the Niger Delta, recent bombing of oil facilities would have been averted enabling Nigeria to probably increase her production to shore up the revenue as other oil producing nations have done in recent times. However the efforts of the environment minister in Ogoniland are commendable but more will be needed for the militants to be convinced that the government means well for them so as to guarantee their support to create the right environment for increased oil production.

If Nigerians decided to lodge over $20billion in domiciliary accounts, the government need not be told that the business class is not comfortable with its economic policies .Experts are of the opinion that the wide margin between the official and unofficial exchange rates engender economic uncertainty forcing investors to withdraw their funds to safer environments or instruments (the dollar).

Unfortunately, many economically uninformed Nigerians are already urging the government to confiscate the dollars as many of them they alleged are proceeds of corruption. This threat if carried out by government may be the last straw that will break the camel’s back as per the economy. Government should realize that it cannot alone develop the system considering the huge potentials of the country and vastness thereof. Owners of Dollars in domiciliary accounts have been forced to sit on the fence as government is yet to produce a clear cut economic policies direction nine months into its four year tenure. The poor people government is claiming to be concerned about are even suffering more today than any other time in the past. Prices of goods and services have sky rocketed beyond their reach. Persistent fuel scarcity is also compounding the problems of the people as some parents have started withdrawing their children from schools. The government should rework whatever plans it may think it has for the people before it’s too late.

Recently, while fielding questions from Adamu Sambo of NTA, the president admitted that the federal government had mopped up over N2.7trillion through the Treasury Single Account (TSA) but will not rush into spending as they will not want to repeat the mistakes of the past, adding that the government will need time to plan. However, the questions bordering the mind of many critical Nigerians are -when will the government conclude this long awaited plan for the business community to know where they will fit in? Others are asking why so much will be lying idle while the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) remain grounded for lack of funds?

The thrust of the 2016 budget was claimed to be fashioned for government to spend money to stimulate the economy. What is obtainable today seems to be the reverse. Many have concluded that the prostate state of the economy now is paucity of ideas and not paucity of funds.