Coalition of Civil Society Groups, CCSG, yesterday examined the current economic recession facing the country and charged President Muhammadu Buhari and his economic team to urgently fix the economy and stop blaming any individual or groups for the downturn.
In a statement titled ‘The State of the Nigerian Economy: So Much Blame Little Critical Thinking,’ the groups called on all charged with the management of the nation’s economy to work together as a team for quick and easy solution to the problem that has brought so much hunger and diseases to the masses.
The statement made available to newsmen in Abuja by the CCSG president, Comrade Etuk Bassey Williams, noted that the country found itself in the present situation due to the possible lack of creative ideas on way forward by those entrusted with the management of the economy.
“It is no longer news that the Nigerian economy is dire straits. We have seen robust positive growths reversed to bleak economic contractions. Inflation has risen from stable single-digits to over 17 percent, unemployment is revolving around 18 percent, the exchange rate is dropping quickly, government revenues are falling as fiscal balances deteriorate, trade balances are floundering. Indeed, Nigeria is in a dire recession,” Williams lamented.
He noted that though the reduction in global growth and production of crude oil around the world led to a sharp reduction in prices from a peak of $116 per barrel in June 2014 to under $50 per barrel as at September 2016, “it remains the duty of Nigeria’s economic managers to rebalance the economy and see us through these challenges so that we can emerge as a better economy.
“We cannot help but notice the scape-goating 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 we 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,” he stated.
Williams therefore called on all relevant bodies that make up the economic team to henceforth direct their efforts to creative, innovative, unconventional and non-textual solutions to the problems.
The groups’ leader, who condemned attacks on the leadership of the CBN, queried the actions of two former governors of the apex bank, urging them to assist their successor and the country at large with solutions or way out of the current economic crisis.
“The unsavoury and divisive comments by ex-governors of the CBN, particularly Prof. Charles Soludo and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, condemning some decisions and actions of the bank are uncalled for.
“We are of the view that, save for mischief and cheap publicity, these individuals ought to approach their successor, the current governor, and share their views on an appropriate way forward. That would have being a more pragmatic, respectable and distinguished action, rather than running to the press to castigate an organization that you once headed.
“Where is the camaraderie? Where is the deep love for the organisation that you once guided? If we were to blame, then we should ask Soludo questions on the phony and shallow bank consolidation which he oversaw. We should also ask him questions about his decision to sell foreign exchange to BDC; an unproductive venture that depleted our reserves by more than $66 billion.
“Besides, we are not oblivious of the real reasons why Sanusi’s reign as the CBN governor, was he not suspended because of the unscrupulous dealings which he ratified during his administration,” Williams stressed.
The CCSG president therefore called on experts across the country to come together to tackle the challenges, advising also that the monetary, fiscal and industrial policies should be viewed correctly as macroeconomic policies.

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