Group faults FG’s strategy on economy, alleges N5tr debt profile
A group, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), has faulted the Federal Government’s strategies on economy, power and housing.The Lead Director of CSJ, Eze Onyekpere, said although its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan had received wide commendations, it was only unveiled in the first quarter of 2017.
He said the strategies showed sluggishness in economic strategy, particularly since it was done two years into the administration.The report by the knowledge institution, “Mid-Term Economy Scorecard” said its assessment was benchmarked against the obligations under national and international laws and standards.
While condemning the country’s provisions for adequate standard of living for its citizens, he called for an urgent correction of the plans.Onyekpere said this was necessary to improve economic performance and the standard of living, which have drifted to mass poverty.
He added that the raising of Euro Bonds for the implementation of the 2016 federal budget in the first quarter of 2017 was also evidence that economic governance did not get the necessary attention it deserved.
“The implication is that we have had five consecutive quarters of negative growth without concrete plans from the administration on how to exit the recession.
“Although the negative growth is slowing, there are still concerns about the growth dynamics in the coming one to two years, because there are no clear pathways for the economic growth to resume,” he said.
The director noted that while unemployment and under-employment had risen from 9.9 per cent to about 14 per cent and 17.4 per cent to about 20 per cent, inflation has also impoverished more Nigerians.
The report identified failure in the management of energy, housing, monetary-fiscal policy harmonisation, leading to a decline in the capital importation and investments records in the country.
He explained that the debt stock had also risen by more than N5 trillion as at December 2016, having been at N12.12 trillion as at June 2015.“And we are still borrowing and planning to borrow more. In the 2015 federal budget, the provision for debt service was a total of N953.620 billion, comprising of N894.6billion for domestic debt service and N59.01billion for foreign debt service.
Also, Fidelis Onyejegbu of the Pubic Finance Management lamented that no single megawatt of electricity has been added to the national grid since this administration assumed office.
“The promise to fix electricity within six months of assuming office had been turned into a mirage, as electricity consumers have been subjected to extortion and forced to pay more for darkness even after the charges had been increased,” he said.