By ANDREW OJIEZEL
As the present administration clock one year in office, the President of Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Chief (Dr) Bassey Edem, and the Director General, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Mr Olusegun Oshinowo have joined other Nigerians in assessing President Muhammadu Buhari’s 365 days in office.
Chief (Dr) Bassey Edem, noted that though Buhari has achieved success in fight insecurity and corruption, but he should equally address other areas. While the NECA DG, Oshinowo pointed out the last one year has been awful.
According to the NACCIMA helmsman, “President Muhammadu Buhari has done well on security and corruption.
“But he has done very badly for the business sector. The businesses are closing down because of lack of forex. The Nigeria economy is going into recession because of poor fiscal and monetary policies. Even Foreign Direct investment has dropped because of lack of confidence on Nigeria. Boards of Agencies are yet to be reconstituted thereby not allowing the Agencies to function well. Everything seems to be grinding to a halt. May God help us.”
The past 365 days have been awful and pain for all-NECA DG
Likewise in his reaction, the Director General, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Mr Olusegun Oshinowo, stated that the past one year has been awful and pain for all.
The DG, who made this known to National Daily, stated that “The past one year has been awful and painful for all actors in the economy. The latest growth figure from the NBS tells the story much better: negative growth, higher inflation and higher unemployment rate. With this score sheet on the performance of the economy, I Wonder what else one has to say about the performance of the government. We should also look beyond this and examine other key indices such as security of Nigerians. One would want to say that new dimensions have crept in that have further worsened our security situation: the marauding and reckless Fulanis herdsmen and the resuscitation of insurgency in the Niger Delta have beclouded our security radar.”
Oshinowo who however commended Buhari’s regime noted that “On the positive that, government’s belated deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil and gas is welcomed. Its eventual acceptance to loosen up the foreign exchange Market should be commended. It has equally done well by introducing transparency and accountability to public sector financial system.
“Though the economy is still in shambles, we must accept the fact that the government has only been in power for less than 12 months and given economic mess it inherited it might be too early in the day to assess it on the basis of concrete outcomes that will impact on the welfare of the people. Our focus should, therefore, be on its policy choices and the hope inherent in such policies to have a long term positive impact on the welfare of Nigerians. Unfortunately, the government has not been too forthcoming with such sector specific and cross- cutting policies, that will enable one to assess what the future portends. Secondly, it is quite commendable that the government has swung the pendulum of public finance from the extreme of profligacy to extreme frugality. The truth is that both are harmful to the economy. The blood of any economy is the volume of money in circulation. You need a rich dose of prudent spending to grow the economy. The frugality of the past 12 months has strangulated the economy. It is therefore high time government shift to prudent spending with focus, in particular, on infrastructure and settlement of domestic debts. The parastatals should be given some breathing space within the TSA dispensation to deploy resources for the fulfillment of their mandate.”