Economic expert implores federal, state govt. to fight off insecurity, oil theft

Joy Onuorah
Joy Onuorah

Development and economics specialist, Dr. Chiwuike Uba, has encouraged the federal and state governments to work together to take decisive action against pervasive insecurity and oil theft.

The Amaka Chiwuike-Uba Foundation Board Chairman, Uba stated in a statement on Tuesday that the two key issues had completely disrupted the nation’s financial flow and earnings for 2022.

He stated that these deplorable patterns had wreaked havoc on the macro and local levels of the economy, causing financial hardship for governments, businesses, and Nigerian citizens as a whole.

Lead Researcher Uba of the economic-political research and analytical organization Afri-Heritage said that for the most part, Nigeria’s economy did not do well in 2022.

“It is therefore urgent to put in place a policy and interventions to reverse the economic collapse and avoid the continuation of the ugly past in 2023.

“In particular, between Q1 of 2022 and Q3 of 2022, agricultural and services growth rates declined by 58 per cent and 6 per cent respectively. Overall, the non-oil growth rate decreased by 30 per cent and the oil growth rate by 13 per cent.

“The real GDP growth rate at basic prices decreased by 28 per cent from 3.11 per cent in Q1 to 2.25 per cent in Q3. In the same vein, real GDP growth at market prices fell by 34 per cent from 3.60 per cent in Q1 to 2.28 per cent in Q3.

“Export declined by 16.4 per cent from N7.1 trillion in Q1 to N5.9 trillion in Q3, non-oil export declined by 38.8 per cent from N715 billion in Q1 to N437 billion in Q3 and crude oil export by 17.1 per cent compared to 13.8 per cent decline in non-crude oil export during the year.

“How can the economy be okay with over 133 million Nigerians into multidimensional poverty, which is nothing but abject poverty and a misery index of 62.79 points in July 2022?

“Insecurity and oil theft have to be dealt with without further delay if Nigeria’s economy in 2023 will fare better.”

He maintained that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s continuing use of domestic and international borrowing to cover the budget deficit has increased economic difficulties.

The analyst warned that if this pattern didn’t change, Nigeria’s economic problems will get worse in 2023.

Adding that the data shows that the growth in ways and means has contributed to about 40% of the money supply, which has resulted to inflation of 7.60%.

However, the economist lauded some of President Muhammadu Buhari’s accomplishments in 2022, saying that “the completion of the second Niger Bridge, the Abuja-Kano rail-line, and the Lagos-Ibadan expressways is highly commendable.”

“Over 70 per cent of current inflation rate in Nigeria is driven by the exchange rate (depreciation of the Naira), with diesel and aviation accounting for over 11 per cent and about 7 per cent by other exogenous shocks.

“The contribution of money supply to inflation is below 10 per cent, yet the policy direction of the CBN largely focuses on the money supply, without the effort needed to address ways and means and the question of the exchange rate and Naira depreciation.”

According to Uba, the government’s position in the battle against corruption has been reinforced by the recovery of more than US$322 million and the decision to enforce the arbitrary award of US$10 billion to P&ID.

He said: “In addition, it is worth mentioning, among other accomplishments, the settlement of billions of dollars’ worth of adverse claims on the Ajaokuta steel plant.

“At the state level, there have also been some achievements by some state governments. For example, the ongoing infrastructural development in Imo State has the capacity to turn around the economy of the state in a few years time.”

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