Lagos - Nigeria’s economy is in recession the worse that the
country has seen in over two decades, with its multiplier effect being felt by
The situation that has seen prices of goods rise with over
100% has triggered several demands by critics, which they believe would reflate
the economy that officially slipped into recession in the second quarter of
2016 and dipped further at the end of the third quarter.
Blame the dollar exchange rate, the citizen’s ‘now-quenched’
desire for foreign goods and other factors that have all also been linked to
the dollar exchange rate, but the former deputy governor of the Central Bank of
Nigeria thinks a more drastic action must be taken now to save Africa’s largest
Naira will fall more
“Reshuffle the cabinet”, critics have cried out, a position
emphasised again on Monday by the former deputy governor of the Central Bank of
Nigeria, who is now the Chief Executive Officer of CEPER, Dr Obadia Meilafia.
Critics have said President Muhammadu Buhari’s current
cabinet had more of lawyers than experts.
Buttressing that claim, Mr Meilafia believes that "if
you're facing a recession you have to assemble an army of experts to monitor
all key sectors”.
“The Naira will continue to plunge further until we are bold
in economic policies, infrastructure development and monitoring,” the former
apex bank’s deputy governor insisted.
He further pointed out that "Nigeria's fall in grace
started from the railway collapse”. The sector is barely surviving, with poor
infrastructure bedeviling it.
Dr. Mailafia made the demand for more drastic economic
policies and reshuffle of the cabinet at the public hearing of the 2017 Budget,
the first of its kind organised by the National Assembly.
Also read: Hope rises for naira stability on Eurobond
Delivering his opening speech earlier, the Chairman of the
Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Mohammed Goje, told the lawmakers
that the 2017 National Budget Hearing was held to make the National Budgeting
process an all-inclusive activity for Nigerians.
The Budget Hearing will shape discourse on fiscal, financial
and economic assumptions used as basis in arriving at total estimated
expenditure and provide a think-tank and research base to help the National
Assembly in planning toward sustainable development.
One of the reasons for organising the hearing was to collate
views and positions with a view to making general Legislative contribution.
Senator Goje pointed out that the Budget Hearing would
entrench openness, transparency, accountability and effectiveness in the
Legislative Budgeting process.
Senate President Bukola Saraki reminded the lawmakers that
Nigeria was at a critical stage in its National Development and thus welcomed
the idea of the Budget Hearing.
He emphasised the importance of Nigerians’ contributions to
the 2017 Budget.For
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- News24 Nigeria