Uncertainty over Buhari’s health takes toll on investments, naira

Naira depreciation

The uncertainty surrounding the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari is beginning to affect fiscal performance and put pressure on investors to make key decisions.

Already, stakeholders and operators in the private sector have expressed worry about the continued inaction of the Federal Government in the area of fiscal policies’ initiation and execution.

They also raised concern over the prolonged failure to appoint substantive chief executives for critical agencies of government, one year after their boards were dissolved.

According to the operators, the extended vacation of the President could further erode confidence in his administration, already under pressure from investors. They argued that the economic environment was being riddled with uncertainties with this seeming endless regime of chief executives in acting capacity.

For the umpteenth time, the naira dropped to a record low of N500 to the U.S. dollar at the black market, just as the foreign exchange reserves hit one-year record high of $28.28 billion.

A trader that did not want his name mentioned told The Guardian that the country was already under pressure to let its currency float freely, but added that assessed fiscal risks owing to Buhari’s absence were adding to the pressure.

“It was expected that he would return today, but lack of details about his health status are sending another signal to investors, as he is always consulted in policy decisions,” the trader said.

The President had announced the dissolution of governing boards of federal parastatals, agencies and institutions on July 16, 2015 and the removal of CEOs/managing directors of 26 federal agencies, eight months after assuming office, appointing their stead acting chief executives.

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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