The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) recognize the fact that the current economic situation is challenging. The global economic reality, fall in global oil prices, economic policy shortcomings and insurgency all play a very critical role in the weak economic performance of the country. In realization of these challenges, government efforts at stabilizing the economy are commendable. We commend government’s efforts in fighting corruption which has become endemic in our system.
It is one year today since our administration came into office. It has been a year of triumph, consolidation, pains and achievements. By age, instinct and experience, my preference is to look forward, to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead and rededicate the administration to the task of fixing Nigeria. But I believe we can also learn from the obstacles we have overcome and the progress we made thus far, to help strengthen the plans that we have in place to put Nigeria back on the path of progress.
One year into the transition from President Jonathan to the Buhari led administration, the burden on Government remained the need to rejuvenate the Nigerian economy which has suffered from the declining global oil prices, poor governance structure, sub-optimal fiscal crisis and monetary policy actions. Recent domestic macroeconomic numbers have suffered from both global and domestic shocks which currently threaten the economic fundamentals of the country.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is scheduled to meet for its 250th meeting next week (23rd & 24th May 2016) to review global and economic developments within the last 2 months in the Nigerian economy. This is coming against the backdrop of sustained pressure on domestic output and elevated headwinds in the economy. Key indicators in the economy continue to worsen on the back of prolonged FX supply bottlenecks, delayed budget implementation, petrol market crisis, dragging consumer spending and weaker corporate earnings.
This week, after months of speculation and lobbying by the business community and multilateral agencies, the FGN finally made a move to liberalize the Petrol market by eliminating import quotas & licenses and introducing a price band for the product with a price cap of N145.00/litre and a floor of N135.00/litre.
This week’s data releases by the CBN and NBS - April 2016 Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) and Q1:2016 Quarterly Capital Importation data - revealed very disappointing numbers. Besides the fact that the weak numbers reflected poorly on business activities and investment confidence, they further reinforced market perception that weakening domestic fundamentals is yet abating.
President Muhammadu Buhari met with members of Nigeria’s Governors Forum (NGF) yesterday, 28th April 2016. Expectedly, the state governors requested for more palliatives to ameliorate their fiscal challenges. The proposed palliatives include: an 18-month moratorium on loans before resuming servicing, direct financial intervention and commitment of the Federal Government (FGN) to a Fiscal Restructuring Plan for Federating units which is yet to be made publicly available.
The week-long visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to China between April 11th and 15th 2016 confirmed preconceived notions that the Presidency will be pursuing a non-allied foreign policy objective, as with previous administrations, by partnering with countries both in the East and West to achieve development objectives. President Buhari’s predecessor, President Jonathan also made a similar visit to China in 2013 in which several infrastructure deals were signed but economic integration between the regions has mainly been defined in trade than finance and capital flows.
Waiting at a crowded bus stop for a ride to work, Osheme Antoine dreams of raising a big family one day. Such dreams, shared by millions, mean Nigeria's bus queues are likely to get even longer in decades to come.
President Muhammadu Buhari's budget plan for this year boosts investment in new roads, railways and power supply in the hope of dragging his nation of 188 million out of deep poverty.