After 100 days in office for his second term, some members of the organised private sector have described the nation’s economic policy space as one that remains unclear and fragmented within the arena of key public authorities and agencies.
According to the operators, there seems to be a continued absence of well structured, broad-based and synergised economic project with clear vision that is being pursued in an active and coordinated fashion.Indeed, macroeconomic scorecard during the period showed slower economic growth performance of 1.94 per cent in Q2, 2019 from 2.01 in Q1, 2019. This performance is lower than the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) growth forecast of 4.1 per cent for 2019.
Moreover, GDP growth of 1.94 per cent, which is far below 3 per cent yearly population growth remains a cause for concern due to its wider implications on welfare and poverty conditions in the country.Apart from inflation rate which continued to moderate lower currently at 11.2 per cent from 11.4 per cent in January 2019, other economic and business indicators such as exchange rate, external reserve, unemployment rate, foreign direct inflows and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All Share index metrics show depressing performance.
In an assessment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic performance during the first 100 days of his second term, some of the operators noted that many of the Federal Government’s interventions were mostly spontaneous and largely insufficient to trigger impactful economic prosperity.A Business & Investment Consultant, Dr. Vincent Nwani stated that beyond the numbers, the performance scorecard that works best for investors is to see a more conducive business environment that propels firms to become more competitive and sustainable.
“To the average Nigerian, what matters to them is for the government to provide platforms for basic welfare and improved quality of life such as access to quality healthcare, improved transportation system, constant supply of electricity and security of lives and property across the country.
“For now, the prevailing realities suggest that we are very far from realizing these ideals and how much the present administration is working towards the desirable economic and wellbeing thresholds remain to be seen. The ongoing coordinated and deliberate development strides being experienced in Rwanda is a near-by template for all to see”, he added.
Earlier, the president, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mansur Ahmed, at the association’s yearly meeting, said the manufacturing sector has been afflicted by an enormous appetite for oil price determined foreign currency flows, as well as the propensity for foreign goods consumption, saying that the present administration’s emphasis on economic diversification and a steady focus on agricultural transformation and pursuit of food security cannot, therefore, be faulted.
“MAN, therefore, commends you for these policies which helped our economy to exit the recession and return to a growth trajectory. We note, that, over the past two and a half years, growth has remained generally in positive territory though still- fragile,” he said.