Nigeria recording growth with minimal development – Ex-LCCI DG - PUNCH
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, has called on the Federal Government to reduce debt financing, especially its reliance on commercial debt to fund government operations.
Yusuf, who is a former director general of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Nigeria’s public debt, which currently stands at N42.8 trillion, was already at an unsustainable threshold.
Commenting on the state of Nigeria’s economy as the nation marks its 62nd independence anniversary, Yusuf explained that despite the transformation recorded in some sectors, including telecoms, information and communication technology, and the ripple effects in financial transactions, and entertainment over the past six decades, the impact had been minimal in addressing poverty, inequality, and unemployment.
This he described as a case of growth with minimal development.
He noted that the security situation, which had continued to deteriorate needed to be urgently addressed to mitigate the effects on investors’ confidence, adding that greater emphasis should be placed on quality intelligence in the war against terrorism.
“The country’s macroeconomic management framework continues to pose serious challenges to investors in the economy. This situation has been further compounded by the shocks and disruptions inflicted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The fragile macroeconomic conditions remain a major cause for concern. The troubling macroeconomic situation has manifested in the following ways in recent years: weak and depreciating currency, high inflationary pressure, high and rising debt profile, exchange rate volatility, liquidity crisis in the foreign exchange market, increasing fiscal deficit, growing debt service burden, and the acceleration of money supply growth following the rising CBN financing of the deficit,” he added.
The former LCCI DG lamented that the fiscal position of the Federal Government and the states was very weak, while the state of insecurity continued to take its toll on the economy, especially on agricultural output and fueling food inflation.
Yusuf added, “It is also impacting the confidence of investors. The spate of oil theft and the associated leakages of government revenue is very troubling. Billions of dollars have been lost to this apparent failure of security effectiveness in the oil-producing areas.”