CBN’s naira redesign policy and macro economic stability
THERE is no gainsaying the fact that the ongoing naira redesign and swap policy has inflicted social and economic dislocation in the country. The disruptive economic pain of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s naira redesign and currency swap policy is no doubt one of the pragmatic paths to ensure macroeconomic stability.
The dismal state of the economic stemmed from many years of economic mismanagement which did not align with true fiscal federalism. In the course of time, it gave rise to multi dimensional excruciating poverty level which earned the country the unenviable tag of “poverty capital of the world”.
Consequently, as Nigerians go to the polls, it is expected that they will make conscious choice given the public declarations of the presidential candidates since the crux of governance is the welfare of the citizenry.
The incoming administration should rescue the country from the debt peonage and design pragmatic macroeconomic measures to reinvent governance. Therefore, there is the compelling need to elect a president, who by his public discourses, manifesto and body language, will be able to steer the comatose economy from consumptive template to that of productive template so that the rising debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will go down in within a given space of time.
The failure of government in virtually all the sectors of governance is palpable evidence that the country is financially prostrate and lost proper direction. Thus, the next president must be conscious of frugality in public finance management by taking immediate steps to drastically reduce the bloated cost of governance, reject budget deficit, budget padding and the monstrous aberration called “constituency projects” which does not align with the concept of separation of powers in the presidential system of government.
There must be the political will to kick-start the implementation of the Orosoye Report for rationalisation of ministries, departments and agencies which have constituted a monumental drain on public finances. It has become imperative for a pragmatic diversification of the economy which is an integral part of massive devolution of powers to the sub national governments. In federations the world over, sub national governments are not constrained by federal laws to explore and exploit natural and mineral resources within their jurisdiction to create wealth, employment and reduce abject poverty.
Recognising the fact that power infrastructure is an engine room for productive economy, the sub national governing entities will establish power infrastructure to jumpstart their respective economies to reinvent the “competitive federalism” that characterised the first republic practice of true fiscal federalism.
It is germane to explain that diversification of the comatose economy different from the preposterous Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers and other social intervention programmes turned out to be conduits for siphoning public finances by the managers. Of course, such interventions are out of sync with federal system of government the world over. Realistic diversification of the economy will make for repayment of binge external and internal debts including Central Bank of Nigeria’s Ways and Means within a reasonable time to return the economy to the path of meaningful socioeconomic growth and development. It will also avoid a situation where the future of the present generation will be mortgaged or have national assets seized by the creditor nations for decades.
The crippling debt peonage has led to over 92 percent of the national revenues being channeled in to debt service obligations which had occasioned budget deficit; even as there is provision for borrowing to service debt obligations in the 2023 national budget.
Since Nigeria’s debt remains unsustainable and vulnerable, even as over 92 percent of people are wallowing in deepening grinding poverty, the electorate should guard against mortgaging their future by shunning vote buying, especially in the presidential election. Given the abhorrent strategy of “weaponisation of poverty” by the rapacious governing elite which had perpetuated vote buying, the electorate should see the presidential election as a singular opportunity to take back their country as it were so as to reinvent the good governance to address the multifarious existential challenges.
Nigeria needs a president that will accord decentralised security architecture a top priority to rid the country of religious insurgents and terrorists that masquerade as herders. This bold initiative will open the economy for foreign direct investment which will create massive employment, wealth and liberate the masses from the debilitating multi dimensional poverty trap.
Going by the fact that appropriate security template is fundamental to meaningful socio-economic growth and development, decentralised security architecture will enable the sub national governments to clear their areas of the adversarial and well resourced non state actors hibernating in the forests and ungoverned spaces. The present centralised security arrangement has failed to enable the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) scattered over the country to go back to their ancestral lands and cultivate to save the country from food insecurity.
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