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Naira will lose more value if...

14 February 2017, 15:07

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 citizens.

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 economy.

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.

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- News24 Nigeria

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