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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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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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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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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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