Saturday 30 July 2016

We Need To Protect Our Economy - Sanusi

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, who is also a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, says the Federal Government needs to protect its economic variables rather than allowing the real economy to absorb the shock occasioned by the global fall in crude oil prices.

Sanusi, who noted that the country was currently in a serious situation, said that tough choices needed to be made to get the country out of its predicament.
He spoke recently in Lagos at the 16th Annual National Conference/Annual General Meeting of the Risk Managers Association of Nigeria.

He said, “We are in a very difficult situation. As a country, we have failed to learn from our experiences. In the global crisis of 2008, Nigeria was badly affected precisely for reasons similar to those that we have today. Prior to 2008, the government of former President Obasanjo had built up a buffer in the excess crude account.

“It was easy for the then government to continue to fund importation and expansion of government spending. Even though we did have a financial crisis, a spike in inflation, a huge devaluation of about 25 per cent to the value of the naira, the economy continued to grow.

What seemed to have happened in 2015 was that the government took a decision to allow the real economy to take a shock rather than protecting the variables. That was a wrong choice to make: you do not absorb the shock of the real economy. The result is that the economy is contracting to a recession.”

The Chairman, Board of Trustees, RIMAN, Ms. Folakemi Fatogbe, said risk managers, either in the financial or energy industry, must be very competent and keep abreast of the developments across the globe and the industry in which they operate.
The President, RIMAN, Mr. Jude Monye, noted that there had been significant changes in the economy since 2015 and that crude oil could no longer be a sustainable source of revenue to the economy.

“Nigeria and the rest of the oil-producing world are faced with a global crisis that inevitably crystallised in the form of energy risk. Getting out of this is not going to be an easy road. The economy is already at a volatile state and the last thing we need is a prolonged recession,” Monye said.

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