Economy Under You Is Worse Than 2015-MAN, LCCI Reply Buhari

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Economy Under You Is Worse Than 2015-MAN, LCCI Reply Buhari

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and economists have countered the claim made by President Muhammadu Buhari, that the economy under him is better than it was in 2015.

The Chairman of the Gas Group, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr Ola Adebayo, said Buhari’s regime’s policies have not translated into positive economy growth and real sector development.

He faulted the regime’s implementation of policies under Buhari, stressing that his regime would not score a pass mark.

Adebayo said, “One thing I have observed is that policy formulation is different from implementation. With the recent events, I don’t think the government has passed. We only have very good policies on paper, but the implementation has been lacking. Once there is no implementation, it becomes just an idea.”

Also, the Deputy-President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Gabriel Idahosa, said the reality was at variance with the claims of the President.

He said the current regime has not been able to attract the private sector to invest in critical infrastructures like railways and airports, saying that the government’s economic model is counterproductive and not in the best interest of the economy.

“The business community has been consistent in saying so. It’s not a matter of disagreeing with him. It’s a matter of looking at the facts at the table.”

Idahosa further said, “We don’t really need any complicated analysis to see whether the policies are addressing the issues of the business community. Whether it is power supply, the foreign exchange market, whether it’s a model that enables the private sector to invest in infrastructure in a manner that enables business to thrive, it is clear for all to see.”

On his part, Director-General, the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Mr Sola Obadimu, said Buhari’s assessment of his administration’s economic policies did not reflect the realities on ground.

According to him, his regime had failed in all economic indices and should be humble to admit it.

He said, “In the past seven years, we have witnessed the most volatile phases in our industrial life. For instance, if we pick the naira valuation as at when he came in and now, you will see the difference. That has been unfriendly to industry.”

He said the benchmark interest rate has been high at 13 per cent, making access to capital difficult.

Obadimu further stated that with the disparity between exchange rate at the official and parallel markets, it was obvious that the government had created certain opportunities for round tripping in the system and consequently put a strain on business entities who needed foreign exchange for business.

An economist and Chief Executive Officer, Center for the Promotion of Private Enterprise,  Dr Muda Yusuf, said that between 2015 and now, the nation’s economy has recorded over 200 percent currency depreciation.

He said that the investors’ confidence has worsened within the period under review and major indicators show that the economy is lagging behind.

“I don’t agree with that. Let us look at all the major indicators in the economy. Look at inflation, look at how bad things are and you know the implication of inflation for investments and for welfare. The current situation now is almost unprecedented and, of course, you can’t compare that now to what the situation was in 2015. Look at our currency. What was the exchange rate even at the parallel market in 2015 and what is it now? We are talking of a depreciation of over 200 per cent or even more and that also has a very serious implication. Even the poverty situation in the land is much and the business confidence. Investors’ confidence has worsened between 2015 and now. So, I don’t agree with that assertion.”

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