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    Welcome to the reality: Nigeria is broke


    Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed last week said that Nigeria is broke. He spoke to State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja. He said the Federal Government took a painful decision by increasing the pump price of petrol from N86.50 to N145 per litre. According to him, the current problem is not about subsidy removal but a result of dwindling income of the government. He said: “The current problem is not really about subsidy removal. It is that Nigeria is broke. Pure and simple!

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    EFCC operatives

    EFCC, do your investigation on banks with finesse

    Last week’s storming of two banks premises by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has left in its trail a bitter and sour taste in Nigeria’s financial system. While no Nigerian living or dead would oppose the desire of the present administration to clean up the political arena and rid the nation of corrupt practices, the way and manner the EFCC operatives are going about it especially as it concerns banks, can trigger a financial distress that the government cannot handle.

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    Cocoa on display at the 6th National Cocoa day celebration held in Kwara State.

    Export rubber, cocoa, palm oil to us, EU tells Nigeria?

    Last week Wednesday, the European Union (EU) was quoted as asking Nigeria government to increase export of agricultural produces like rubber, cocoa and palm oil to the EU countries. The Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Michel Arrion, said this at a press conference on commemorate the 40 years of EU-Nigeria partnership in Abuja. Arrion said there were potential exports, which Nigeria could develop in commercial quantities, lamenting that such exports to the EU were currently in low quantities.

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    Is the National Assembly a budget rubber-stamping body?d

    In a Presidential system of government, political theorists have long propounded that separation of power is the chess game at the political arena. It is a known fact that the executive, the legislature and the judiciary act as checks and balances on each other in the system. In budgeting, while the executive proposes the budget, the National Assembly has the responsibility to debate and pass the budget into law for the executive to implement.

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    NEC retreat resolutions failed change mantra expectation

    The recently held two-day National Economic Council (NEC) Retreat ended with a number of resolutions. The expectation of most Nigerians is that the meeting will come up with an economic agenda that reflects the change in approach to governance and economic management. The retreat started with a fanfare that looked like some serious economic policy outline was going to come out of it. At the end of the meeting, Nigerians were disappointed with the outcome.

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    Nigerian youths

    What is wrong with Nigerians?

    Nigerians’ taste for foreign goods has been the bane of the economy. Many prefer goods and services from abroad to locally produced ones even when the foreign ones are of lower quality. This has had a serious effect on the nation’s reserves and compounded the unemployment situation in the country. The continued depletion of the external reserves of the nation and the ever growing army of unemployed youths is partly a result of this trend that has bedeviled the Nigerian economy.

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    Buhari, a President without economic think tank

    In this column in August last year, I had cause to ask how far President Buhari can go in managing a tough economy. There has been growing concerns about this government’s handling of the economy. At the moment, there seems to be no clear cut economic blueprint for which government policies are framed. It appears to me that every minister is working by intuition without any economic guiding principle.

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    Nigerians used scarce forex to kill textile industry

    In the early 1970’s through to the 1990’s, the Nigerian industrial horizon was dotted with textile manufacturing industries. In the Kaduna-Kano axis, one recalls with nostalgia several large textile companies employing thousands of Nigerians. It used to be an intriguing experience to be close to a textile mill. At the close of business, several employees will be trooping out of the premises of a textile company. It was like a market that has sold out all its wares.

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    Emefiele CBN Governor

    CBN always at receiving end when FX dries up

    The restriction placed by the CBN on 41 items’ access to foreign exchange and Bureaux De Change has generated so much heat that some highly placed Nigerians and foreign investors are calling for drastic action against the CBN. It is quite unfortunate that Nigerians have very short memory. As a young graduate of Economics and a reporter in 1987, some of the issues rearing their ugly heads now were the same issues we reported then. Then as it is now the CBN has always been vilified whenever there is drop in the supply of foreign exchange in the country. The CBN at such critical moment in the economic history of Nigeria had bent over backward in attempt to redeem what looks like a hopeless situation.

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    Buhari presents N6.08trn 2016 budget to NASS

    Who doctored 2016 budget, mafia or rats?

    Zero budgeting cannot be responsible for budget padding. It cannot be the reason for rats smuggling foreign provisions into the budget. It can not be the reason for double entry in allocation to ministries, departments and agencies of government. Those who prepare the budget have been around for many years. The Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation Dr.Bright Okogu holds a PhD in Economics from from the famous University of Oxford London in 1987. He is not a stranger to budgetting process and figures.

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    Nigeria’s economic woes rooted in lack of research

    Nigeria is often ridiculed as a giant in the sun. It is said to have abundant resources that are yet to be tapped. For close to three decades, the country has been talking about diversification of its economy. Each time there is an external shock, the noise about diversification gets louder but as soon as things get better, every one goes back to the old ways of doing things. As a result, no headway has been made in the bid to diversify the nation’s economic base. Leaders and policymakers thrive on rent-seeking activities, and do not engage in hard thinking.

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    Nigeria’s fixed exchange rate policy: Like an Ostrich that buries its head in sand

    Whereas the Nigerian monetary authorities fixed the official exchange rate at N196 to a dollar, there is today a near 50% differential in the parallel market rate to the official rate. The fact that the exchange rate is not market determined, that the price of the dollar is not determined by the equilibrium of demand and supply means significantly that the dollar is officially priced far below its true market value.

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