Buhari’s delay in appointing ministers slowed Nigeria’s economy – CDD
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has released a report on its assessment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of the economy in the last five years.
The report entitled ‘Fluctuating Fortunes: A 5-year Economy Assessment under the Buhari Administration’, was signed by Idayat Hassan, CCD Director.
It noted that “The six months delay in deciding the cabinet constrained federal government capital expenditure releases created an atmosphere of uncertainty that slowed down private sector investment decisions, increased outflow of foreign investments, all with negative consequences on economic activities.”
CDD recalled that Buhari, in 2015, inherited an economy in decline in terms of growth rate of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and that between 2013 and 2014, the economy grew above 6 percent.
The report noted that the inability of the federal government to implement robust policies to salvage the fiscal situation paved the way for an economic crisis in 2016.
It found that despite some reforms introduced by the administration, there are obstacles against a business-friendly environment, including limited access to electricity and credit as well as inadequate measures towards resolving insolvency.
CDD scored the federal government low on job losses, increasing poverty and power supply, adding that substantial progress has not been made towards providing better power supply to customers.
The report, in spite of that, highlights bright spots such as efforts of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) on ease of doing business.
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Others are Anchor Borrowers scheme and the Finance Act 2019 which provides Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) exemptions for businesses with a gross turnover of ?25million annually).
On solution, the report advised Buhari to focus on reducing the “quasi-fiscal role” of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), improving credit infrastructure, leveraging digital technologies to embrace open governance principles, and making good on plans to invest significantly in human and physical capital, while addressing long-term bottlenecks to growth.
The assessment also stressed the importance of open government by taking advantage of new digital technologies to better package programme strategies as well as during implementation.
It admonished the government to come to terms with the fact that key reforms in the human capital sectors are important in achieving success in overall economic development.
“Challenges such as bureaucratic bottlenecks, corruption, subversion of the rule of law, and the non-enforcement of contracts were mentioned as some of the issues that must be addressed,” CCD noted.
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