NIGRIA economy is characterised by a number of socio-economic problems. These problems include import, dependence on a single economic sector-oil, weak industrial base, a low level of agricultural production, a weak private sector, dependent on foreign loans, while corruption, mismanagement of public fund and embezzlement have been very much institutionalised. But in 2019, both federal and state governments carried out some activities to remedy the economy and much still needed to be done to reduce poverty drastically in the country.
On heavy dependence on exportation of primary products and importation of finished products, polished rice and other goods, Nigeria closed her land border recently with the neighbouring Republic of Benin, Niger, Chad and the Central African country of Cameroon.
Report had it that rice millers and processors may have spearheaded the closure of the land borders to retain their control of the nation’s rice market which have almost slipped out of their hands because of people’s patronage of smuggled par boiled rice from the Asian country of Thailand. Rice millers mounted pressure on CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and other top CBN officials to impress it on President Muhammadu Buhari, to do something about it.
In another development, the issue of minimum wage came up in the year 2019, to ameliorate the sufferings of the nation’s working force, so that the least paid worker will go home with about N30,000 each month. The latest development had it that December 31 is the deadline for commencement of payment of the N30,000 new national minimum wage as directed by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which is insisting that National Minimum wage law is binding on all parties to the agreement.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba hinted this at a one-day review meeting on the new national minimum wage law between state council chairmen and state governors, stating that no party has the right to renege.
Still on issue bothering on the national work force, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is ready to query its members who have enrolled into the on-going integrated payroll and personal information system (IPPIS) as directed by the federal government, which did not go down well with ASUU. This information was made public by the chairman, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Christian Opata recently.
On a prove that Nigeria economy is yet to be properly managed, Senior Director for Nigeria at Africa Development Bank (AFDB), Eberima Faal disclosed that Nigeria spends about N5trillion yearly for generator power supply from Nigerians households and businesses per annum. This is because electricity power supply in the country have remained an issue that is yet to be sincerely resolved in the country by government functionaries.
In 2019, Nigeria still witnessed counterfeit in her currency as CBN alerts of fake N500, N1000 notes currently in circulation. Members of the public have been warned to beware of about 119,663 pieces of fake and counterfeit N500 and N1000 denominations currently in circulation in some parts of the country.
The report stated that though these fake currencies were recorded in 2018, they have not been completely mopped out of public domain, N500 and N1000 denominations remained the most commonly counterfeited banknotes.
Yet on national issue, Nigeria’s dept as at October 2019 shows that the country owes about N25.7trillion, which represents and increase by N1.32 trillion.
According to a release from Debt Management Office (DMO), the figure which covers up to June 30, captures both domestic and external debts showing the total debt of federal government, that of 36 states and federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja.
It is worth mentioning that Nigeria economic and financial crime commission, intensified its efforts to improve the economy of the country. Recently, report shows that about four Ghana-Must go bags containing N85million notes were recovered by operations of EFCC, in Gusau-Zamfara State.
The amount suspected to be looted by a highly placed officer of the electoral body was tracked down in a raid by EFCC, following a tip-off by whistle blower.
In Anambra State, many economic activities were recorded. in 2019. Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AIRS) commenced enforcement of company business, registration and non remittance of pay as you earn (PAYE) in the state. Head of PAYE Department at AIRS, Chika Obiano made it clear that the enforcement took effect from October 1, 2019.
Still in Anambra State, in line with Governor Willie Obiano’s directives to chase away ghost workers in the state workforce, the board members of Anambra State Local Government Service Commission Awka, embarked on strict monitoring tour of the 21 local government system to enable them achieve this.
The chairman of the commission, Peter Egenti has in the process visited some local government areas in the bid to transform and reform the local government system.
In another development, to celebrate the season, Anambra State Government has declared free transport for commuters within the state starting from December 1, 2019 to January 5, 2020.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transport Company of Anambra State (TRACAS), Ifeoma Madukasi, stated this while addressing the press at the company’s Head office in Awka.
The designated routes include Awka to Onitsha, by old road, Eke-Awka to Head Bridge, Awka to Onitsha by express to Upper Iweka to Otuocha by Aguleri junction.
Others are Onitsha to Ogbaru by LGA headquarters, Awka to Nnewi by Nkwo Nnewi Triangle and Awka to Oko.