Nigeria's major problem right now is mostly with uncertainty over the capacity of the government to breathe life into the economy. Unfortunately, this wait and see stance has continued for too long, as it has taken long to establish an economic policy direction. Unfortunately, this fiscal side delay has in my view hampered the ability of the CBN to act more aggressively. Any continued wait and see from the monetary policy side is likely for gauging the real direction of fiscal policy and is not good for helping immediate recovery. So fiscal policy makers must act quickly. We have now seen a confirmation that in the short term, Nigeria's capacity to withstand a rapid drop in oil prices is quite limited, as Nigeria's fortunes are clearly and inextricably tied to the vicissitudes of the oil industry because Nigeria has not diversified its export base. So as I have said before, the gong has sounded and aggressive diversification efforts must now start. Where will it start? The answer? Our communities. That's where it will start. How will it start? By the government designing policies with catalytic measures to empower our communities. We now have approaches that can produce immediate results. When I say the government, I mean federal, state and local governments. Consider the Ogoniland situation. I commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his political will to launch the UNEP report. I commend also the excellent job the Honorable Minister of Environment is doing as the field general for the president and for that matter Ogoni people and the people of the Niger Delta and of course the entire country. But hear this. The whole exercise will be a failure if it is not supported with a serious community economic competitiveness program that involves all the stakeholders in the exercise. I am gratified that Governor Nyesom Wike also appears ready to aggressively develop Ogoni. His commissioning and immediate activity on the Sakpewa Bori road into Kono is highly commendable and reflects his understanding that it is mostly how the communityâ€™s economy fares during and after the clean up that matters. If all policy is aimed at how to raise the level of living then community economic development and competitiveness is where the battle will be decisively won or even lost. The community is where the people are, it is where policy action should be anchored. I am Magnus Kpakol and that's my view.
Posted: Jun 27th, 2016 @ 08:46:36 AM