By Obinwa Okechukwu

Despite the deteriorating state of the naira, there are still lots of potentials and prospect for the Nigerian economy. The crisis in Nigeria Economy seems to be worsening progressively since the crash in oil prices from a high of about 115.09 Dollars on June 19 2014 to recent opening spot price of 34.83 Dollars.

This despite a barrage of monetary and administrative policies introduced by the central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) to stabilize the exchange rate and restart economic growth . Devaluation of the naira won’t bailout the economy as it stands now and I stand to be corrected but time would surly tell. May I start by making some suggestions to both the fiscal and monetary authorities on options to consider while reviewing the current monetary and administrative policies and designing an appropriate fiscal and trade policy to mitigate the crisis in exchange rate, restore economic growth and moderate the impact of future crude oil price crash on the Nigerian economy.

While I personally support a more flexible exchange rate management, I strongly believe (not believe but know) that devaluation alone will not address the problems of the economy. There is need for a cocktail of policies, which will include exchange rate adjustment, creating window of investment for long-term funds through concessioning of commercially viable infrastructure, full deregulation of the downstream petroleum industry and stimulating investment in sectors where Nigeria has comparative advantage, as well as investing heavily in social infrastructures such as health , education, tourism, security, among others it is such holistic approach to economic management that will change the structure on Nigeria’s economy and wean it from dependence on oil for export earnings.

It is not enough to talk about diversification, concrete actions ought to have been taken before now, if that had been done we wouldn’t have found ourselves in this mess. Look at Malaysia, and Singapore.

Malaysia took our palm kernel seed and turned it into a great asset. Show me a functional refinery in the south of Sahara. Why have we not invested in it? We shipped and keep shipping the job out. Can you imagine that the refinery is even more beneficial than the crude oil in terms of employment and expertise and all of that, look at the bye-product. Plastics, fertilizer, soda ash etc. the crude is just three products. Diesel, Kerosene and Petroleum. The issue is in having the political courage to embark on bold endeavours for the sake of the country.

Finally, radical and bold decision would make us get back to those good old days. In conclusion, I speak as a fiscalist that devaluation which is the official reduction of the value of a country’s currency in relation to other currencies of other nations, we should increase our foreign exchange through having more of export than import based. Then the forces of demand and supply would automatically fix the value of the nation’s currency..









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