Coalition Urges Economic Team To Be Creative, Unconventional

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The leadership of Coalition of Civil Society Groups (CCSG), has called on relevant bodies that make up the country’s economic team to direct efforts to creative, innovative, unconventional and non-textbook solutions to the country’s problems.

This amongst others was contained in a communiqué after the Group’s emergency meeting in Abuja when it met to address the current economic recession in the country.

Addressing a press conference yesterday,  President of CCSG, Mr. Etuk Williams, stated that it was no longer news that the country’s economy is in dire threat as inflation has risen from stable single-digits to over 17 per cent, unemployment revolving around 18 per cent, exchange rate is dropping quickly, government revenues are falling as fiscal balances deteriorate, trade balances are floundering and indeed the country is in recession.

The statement read: “It seem to us that those entrusted with the management of this economy are bereft of creative ideas on way forward or, worst still, do not understand the complexities of the current challenges. As far as we know, macroeconomic policies are divided broadly into monetary and fiscal. The fiscal authorities are generally entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring economic robustness including sound growth, vast employment, infrastructure development, trade policies, industrial policies, structural policies, and a welcoming business environment.

It said that while it is neither our duty nor our intention to defend one organization or the other, we cannot help but notice the scapegoating and asymmetric blaming of the CBN for the conditions of the Nigerian economy.

“As far as we are concerned the CBN has its own shortcomings one of which is its attempts, through its quasi-fiscal activities, to assume the duties of other counterparties in the economic management endeavour. But I guess they have resorted to doing so because nature does not allow vacuums. If others are not doing their jobs, maybe someone has to do. Whatever the case is,  we believe that this disproportionate blame-game should stop now.

“The CBN has not only made visible attempts at its bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee meetings at working towards its mandate, it has also ventured in quasi-fiscal duties to fill the gap created by indolent and inept organizations. For instance, we are aware of its various interventions in agriculture sector, in power, in micro, small and medium enterprises, in education and in aviation sector.

“The Bank has consistently bailed out entities in these sectors and others. More recently, we are aware of the bailout of states, which is an almost monthly occurrence now. These are states, whose Governors have failed to be responsible and creative in the managing their economic resources.

“States which have enormous potentials but fail to soil their hand in order to build sustainable IGRs; rather preferring to depend on allocations from the ever decreasing crumbs of national cake. We find it insulting that some of these State Governors shamelessly blame other people for the dwindling performance of the economy,” it said.

It said that, it remained the duty of Nigeria’s economic managers to rebalance the economy and see the nation through its current challenges.

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