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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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File: Buhari during the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly.

2016 draft budget is a huge joke

When the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, Christine Lagarde came to have a chat with Nigeria’s economic managers and policy makers, she warned that Nigeria should watch the rising debt profile of the country. Christine Lagarde is not against borrowing but borrowing for consumption. She must have been briefed on the 2016 draft budget expenditure and income profile of the country.

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Scrap BDCs and save Naira from continued devaluation (2)

Last week in this column I said in there was no need to continue the sale of foreign exchange by the Central Bank of Nigeria to Bureau De Change in the country as it was no longer tenable. Little did I know then that the CBN was going to act fast on it. But before that evening press conference by the CBN Governor, I received several calls, some accusing me of working for some vested interest, while others were threats of possible reprisals. The curious thing is that some of the calls were from politicians who have been beneficiaries of the scam. The truth is that these are self serving individuals whose only interest is their pockets and stomachs.

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Scrap BDC, save the Naira from continued devaluation

The pressure on the Naira at the foreign exchange market might continue to mount and see further depreciation in value of the Naira if the activities of currency speculators are not curbed. At the centre of this speculative activities are the Bureau de Change. Right from the deregulation of the foreign exchange market, the operation of third party non bank outlet for foreign exchange transaction has been the bane of the Naira. Those who own and operate these outlets do so for personal gains. in the guise of helping to reach the unreached members of the public by banks. They buy foreign exchange at cheap rate from CBN and divert them to the parallel market and sell at exorbitant rate to end users.

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CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele

Who is afraid of Emefiele as Governor of CBN?

Many Nigerians do not seem to understand the role of the CBN in an economy. Some believe that the CBN is an authority in itself and does not take instruction from government. Yes, it is true that the CBN enjoys some autonomy; that is as far as its management is concerned. The CBN is the banker to the Federal Government and its economic and financial adviser. It is in the final analysis responsible to the president.

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Senator Saraki

Can Saraki really push for a modern economy for Nigeria?

There is usually the belief that investors avoid Nigeria due to lack of infrastructure. This has led government and many well meaning Nigerians to always focus their thoughts on building infrastructure. While it is true that infrastructure facilitate investment, it also aids economic development. The greatest challenge facing the country in terms of foreign direct investment is the obsolete nature of Nigerian laws that do not conform to 21st Century economy.

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Illegal refinery operators

Is there nothing good about the so called illegal refineries? (2)

Last week I talked about the technological opportunity the so-called illegal refineries is offering the nation that is being thrown away. There were many Nigerians who felt the same way. But one particular reader suggested a part 2 that should focus on the danger the destruction of tons of illegally refined products is having on the coastal, as well as the entire Niger- Delta region. Federal government law enforcement agents have engaged in an endless battle with crude oil thieves.

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International conspiracy to ruin Nigerian economy

Since the Nigerian economy emerged as the largest economy in Africa as a result of the rebasing exercise, the attempt to frustrate the nation’s efforts to move forward has been orchestrated by foreign investors, their media and now the European Union and the United States of America. The new move arose when the CBN out of the desire to protect the nation’s foreign reserve restricted some 41 items that can be produced locally from access to official foreign exchange. These items are not banned but can only now be imported with the importer’s own sourced foreign exchange.

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How prepared is Nigeria for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as a matter of survival?

Nigeria from historical perspective, is always playing the catch up game. It has always adopted a fire brigade approach to issues of management. In fact, crisis management has been the style of leadership in Nigeria. It is when situations get out of hand that Nigerian leaders begin to adopt panic measures at solving problems. There were warnings in the past that crude oil prices will crash and Nigeria needed to build buffer, but it was ignored and today, the economy is facing challenges because early warnings were not acted upon.

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Consumer credit, mortgage financing can help fight corruption

Kudos to the author of this article as it really makes sense to someone like me that lived in the United States for almost three decades. Providing credit facilities will certainly discourage corruption to a large extent and stimulate the economy. However, the practical approach for actualising this strategy is still missing as banks have no way to track borrowers. The BVN that is ongoing may help in that direction, including the National ID that some selfish Nigerians have been suppressing for political reasons up till now.

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