Ahead 2019: An­a­lysts see huge gaps in APC, PDP cam­paign doc­u­ments

Worry over lim­ited pol­icy con­tent PDP pro­posed re­forms for FDI, GDP growth sim­i­lar to failed APC poli­cies

Business a.m. - - FRONT PAGE - MOSES OBAJEMU

THREE MONTHS TO THE GEN ERAL elec­tions, fi­nan­cial in­dus­try an­a­lysts are wor­ried that the re­cently re­leased cam­paign doc­u­ments of the two lead­ing po­lit­i­cal par­ties, the rul­ing All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) and lead­ing op­po­si­tion party, the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP), launched with fan­fare, are lim­ited on pol­icy con­tents and are un­likely to be re­veal­ing about pol­icy, but a re­hash of the old change agenda and hints of pro-mar­ket stance from the other side.

An­a­lysts at the in­vest­ment bank cum re­search in­sti­tu­tion, FB­N­Quest, in their eco­nomic out­look for the fourth quar­ter of the year, re­leased and made avail­able to busi­ness a.m. over the week­end, said there was lit­tle on rel­e­vant poli­cies on some of the is­sues fac­ing the coun­try such as fuel sub­sidy, which will help ad­dress the prob­lems fac­ing the coun­try.

While not­ing that PDP’s Atiku Abubakar has pro­duced a plan with am­bi­tious tar­gets for for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments (FDI) ex­pan­sion and gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) growth, they said in the re­port that the re­forms pro­posed to at­tain the tar­get are not very dif­fer­ent from the poli­cies of the APC, which have failed to de­liver growth in GDP per head dur­ing its ten­ure.

Com­ment­ing on Pres­i­dent Mo­ham­madu Buhari’s change agenda, they said the change promised in 2015 has been mod­est, adding that crit­ics can point to power and other short­ages, as well as the grossly in­ad­e­quate in­fras­truc­ture.

“In our view, one main rea­son for such dis­ap­point­ment lies in the cen­tralised sys­tem of gov­ern­ment and its neg­a­tive im­pact on de­ci­sion­tak­ing. It ap­pears at times that al­most all de­ci­sions and ap­point- ments have to be rub­ber-stamped at the pres­i­dency,” they avowed.

They cited the ex­am­ples of what they de­scribed as many im­por­tant po­si­tions in pub­lic agen­cies and diplo­matic posts left va­cant be­cause of the cen­tral­ized na­ture of de­ci­sion tak­ing by the cur­rent gov­ern­ment.

“There are many ex­am­ples of im­por­tant po­si­tions in pub­lic agen- cies and diplo­matic posts left va­cant for this rea­son. This in­sti­tu­tional in­er­tia has blunted the abil­ity of the big-hit­ters in the ex­ec­u­tive to lead from the front,” the an­a­lyst said.

They said the APC change has been patchy “yet is ev­i­dent in some fields,” de­scrib­ing the resort to ex­pan­sion­ary bud­gets through to 2018 (signed off in mid-June by Pres­i­dent Buhari), as help­ing to bring about larger cap­i­tal re­leases by the gov­ern­ment.

“Th­ese bud­gets have en­abled the FGN to de­liver on some of its “so­cial in­ter­ven­tions” on job cre­ation in the pub­lic sec­tor. We would also sin­gle out the success of Kemi Adeo­sun, the re­cent fed­eral fi­nance min- is­ter, in cut­ting waste, im­prov­ing co­op­er­a­tion be­tween gov­ern­ment agen­cies, strength­en­ing rev­enue col­lec­tion agen­cies and driving a co­her­ent FGN debt strat­egy”, they main­tained.

They, how­ever, lamented the in­abil­ity of the Na­tional As­sem­bly to pass the petroleum in­dus­try bill (PIB), avow­ing that there was now no chance that the petroleum in- dus­try bill will be passed be­fore the elec­tions, and lamented that it has lan­guished for more than ten years in the Na­tional As­sem­bly.

Not­ing that the gov­er­nance com- po­nent was ap­proved by the as­sem- bly in Jan­uary but sent back by the pres­i­dency in July, the FB­N­Quest an­a­lysts’ out­look said: “It seems that pro­pos­als to trim the power of the pres­i­dent and the petroleum min­istry over oil li­censes and con­tracts were un­ac­cept­able. Ad­di­tion­ally, the pres­i­dency ob­jected to a new reg­u­la­tory body that would house 10% of oil rev­enues,” not­ing that the other com­po­nents of the om­nibus bill are fis­cal, ad­min­is­tra­tive and host com­mu­nity sec­tions.

Ex­pand­ing their take on the state of the economy, the an­a­lysts at­trib­uted high trans­ac­tion cost and reg­u­la­tory model as the rea­son for the low vol­ume of mo­bile money trans­ac­tions in the coun­try; but they ac­knowl­edged that there was a po­ten­tial boost to con­sump­tion from the cur­rent low base of mo­bile bank­ing fol­low­ing the award of op­er­at­ing li­cences by the CBN.

The re­port re­vealed that data from the Nige­rian In­ter-Bank Set­tle­ment Sys­tem show that li­censed mo­bile money op­er­a­tors han­dled

They said the re­forms pro­posed to at­tain the tar­get are not very dif­fer­ent from the poli­cies of the APC, which have failed to de­liver growth in GDP per head dur­ing its ten­ure

L-R: Adey­eye Eni­tan Ogun­wusi, Ooni of Ife and the chan­cel­lor, Univer­sity of Nige­ria, Nsukka; Her­bert Wigwe, group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor/-CEO, Ac­cess Bank Plc; Ben­jamin Chuk­wuma Ozumba, vice chan­cel­lor, Univer­sity of Nige­ria, Nsukka; and Doreen Wigwe, wife of GMD/-CEO, Ac­cess Bank, at the con­fer­ment of the award of hon­orary doc­tor­ate de­gree by the Univer­sity on Wigwe on Satur­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.