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As Naira is Debased, Who exactly is in charge of Nigeria’s economy?


rotimi amaechi

*Parallel market rates as at today, 12/2/16)



Who exactly is in charge of this country and its economy? Is the person(s) awake or asleep?

Is it the same person that made the following statement?

“It is sad that the value of the naira has dropped to more than N230 to one dollar; this does not speak well for the nation’s economy,’’ -APC Presidential candidate Muhammed Buhari on 22/3/15 at Owerri

(Note that Buhari was referring to the parallel market rate then.)

Obviously this government has made history as the one that supervised the highest disparity between the official and parallel market exchange rates.

Just like they have made history as the first to surreptitiously “miss” our budget from the National Assembly. And then even made more negative history by presenting a total mess as amended budget estimate.

The worst part is that the same persons that called ministers noise makers have turned round to claim that the colossal errors in the budget were made by civil servants aka “budget mafia”.

If we even accept that it was the fault of civil servants the question becomes what do ministers do?

I watched Amaechi yesterday struggling to defend his ministry’s budget and ended up looking thoroughly beaten up. Of course the National Assembly committee members asked him to go back, review and come back.

Amazingly it was same Amaechi that rushed to make policy pronouncements like cancellation of the maritime university under false pretense of “nothing has been done” whereas the basic structures were more than 80% completed. If Amaechi had spent his time reading the budget estimates from the “budget mafia” he would have saved himself the embarrassment of looking moronic while legislators pummeled him from left right and center. 

The time he even spent taking failed governorship candidates from one Abuja house to another was enough for him to sit and review his ministry’s budget and save Buhari this embarrassment.

Amaechi is ordinarily a brilliant administrator. But he distracted himself and failed himself, the President and even me with his latest National Assembly budget defense visit.

Same applies to Fashola whose only input to his ministries’ budget appears to be to request that they budget for boreholes at his favorite N140m per unit. He did not learn anything from his mistakes in Lagos because the usual hired hands ensured he was not properly scrutinized for the borehole scandal. Now he has acquired a taste for N140m boreholes.

It is time for the president to split the ministries under Fashola. Unless he desires to deconstruct Fashola and expose him to national ridicule.

My sweetheart Kemi Adeosun also failed me. I personally believe that intelligent women are beautiful and beautiful women are intelligent. How did she allow this estimate to get to the point of being presented by the President? To worsen the matter I saw her arguing with Hameed Ali, of all people, on national tv.

What will she explain that Ali will understand in terms of the economy? Kemi mi, please focus on your job and if you want to debate economic issues choose people like Amina and Enelemah. Not Ali or Adam of marriage university of Cape Verde.

The principal reason the Naira is on free fall is the absence of economic policy blueprint that this government is working with. Everything is “tumbo tumbo” at the moment. Exchange rates stability hate uncertainty in fiscal policies.

There is too much uncertainty in the management of Nigeria’s affairs at the moment. Consequently, smart Alecs are cashing in by buying forex at official rates and selling at BDCs and street exchanges. The beneficiaries are elements in this “change” regime and their supporters.

The leadership of Nigeria need to stop this bleeding, unless they are part of the game and are helping to recoup the trillions spent in ousting PDP at the expense of common folks.

Our president should buckle down and solve our problems before things get really messier than our budget mess. Junketing from one country to another is not the solution. When Iranian president visits France we read about $33b deals being signed. But when our own President travel to the west we remember late Fela Kuti: “my people are useless, my people are indisciplined….”

Mr President: Reshuffle your cabinet now and stop blaming civil servants and Jonathan because the same regime sacked and/or redeployed brilliant civil servants and replaced them with cronies for ethno-partisan reasons. Just like the government refused to give appropriate portfolios to very qualified ministers. You made your administrative bed and should lie on it or change your bed sheet.

It doesn’t matter to me who prepared the budget because I expected supervising ministers to review the presentations before forwarding to the president who in turn I also expected would have reviewed before presenting to the National Assembly. If the president cannot read he has aides that can read.

It is the cumulative effect of this government’s systemic failures that are driving the Naira to the highway to Zimbabwe.

Don’t let Mugabe laugh at Nigeria in the next one year. The Naira is already devaluing itself at an alarming rate and I see the debate on whether to devalue or not as idiotic.


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