Thursday, 26 February 2009

Meltdown: Government Response Is Uninspiring(News Release By Economic Team Of Coalition Of Political Parties In Nigeria)

We reviewed the current economic challenges, identified policy options, and evaluated current actions and policies responses on the part of government regarding the global financial crisis and its effects on current Oil price, budget, and the consequent devaluation of the currency.

Sadly, one of the key points we highlighted is a lack of coordination in terms of the actions regarding who is responsible for the Nigerian response to all these issues.

There is a lack of coordination within a disjointed system with too many responsibilities fragmented all over the place unlike what you can see in many places where it is clear that there is a coordinated policy response whether you are talking to the US Treasury Secretary or the Federal Reserve.

The team was shocked at the lack of sufficient analysis regarding the impact of the economic crisis on different sectors like the household and businesses at diverse levels as we found that they are just talking at the level of government and its effects on government revenue whereas they need to drill down to these sectors in order to have appropriate policy responses.

The situation highlights the need to measure the level of economic failure or otherwise from the point of view of the common man because the reality is that most Nigerians have always been in crisis, hence the need to measure our economic performance by using the Human Development Index to gauge how are people are faring in health, education, unemployment, poverty-level and such others which must take into account the need of poor people to inform policy options.”

The crisis brings to light, the issue of lack of diversification of our economy and hence a pressing need for government to go beyond sharing Oil money and begin to actively diversify our economy and improve the quality of governance. We expect government to articulate clear policy on Agriculture, Manufacturing, and untapped Solid Minerals.

The team believes that concerning the financial sector, their is need to preserve regulatory independence and integrity, and more transparency because many times, we find regulators appearing like stakeholders in the sector rather than referees deemed and bound to be objective.

Kila Odunayo
Press/Media Aide to Professor Pat Utomi.