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Reforms will unlock Nigeria’s economic fortunes, perseverance is key

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Nigeria’s 2024 budget: A milestone as capital expenditure exceeds recurrent for the first time since 1999

Reforms will unlock Nigeria’s economic fortunes, perseverance is key

 

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Abuja, March 5, 2025: The current economic reforms in Nigeria are where the fortunes of the Africa’s largest economy will be unlocked, a Think Tank group, the Independent Media and Policy Initiative (IMPI), concludes after analysing the rudiments of the policies.

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A policy analysis released on Tuesday in Abuja by the Chairman of IMPI, Mr Niyi Akinsiju, said it was crucial to keep eyes on the bright “spots in Nigeria’s economy’’ even as the reforms bite harder for now.

 

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As one of the nation’s global economic entrepreneurs puts it, IMPI reports that

“while pessimism abounds, it is crucial to keep our eyes on the bright spots in Nigeria’s economy. We write off and ignore the country at our own peril; it could very well become a 22nd century superpower’’.

 

Akinsiju said it was to this end that we are unpretentious about the support and advocacy for the policies being advanced by President Bola Tinubu’s administration targeted at enabling a market-driven economy.

 

“This should be the big picture for every forward looking Nigerian. Our fate should not be about existing from one day to the other; it should be about accepting the generational responsibility of standing in the gap for future generations.

 

“To sacrifice our today to change the economic trend of our country where rather than have millions numbered in poverty, we will have millions counted in wealth,’’ Akinsiju said.

 

The Think Tank peeped into the history of the nation’s current economic milieu and the series of policies on foreign exchange market as well as the controversial subsidy in petrol and concluded that a free economy of the current administration was most ideal.

 

“We have to go back to June 15, 2016. Nigeria’s central bank announced it would abandon its currency’s dollar peg in preference for a free float of the Naira in an effort to alleviate the chronic foreign currency shortages choking growth in Africa’s biggest economy.

 

“Under one week after the announcement, the Naira slumped from the pegged rate of N197/$ to N287/$. Three months down the road, in August 2016, the rate had fallen by an aggregate 61 percent to the dollar.

 

“Expectedly, there was bedlam in the economic space with the din of the attendant noise becoming aggravated when Nestle Nigeria Plc, a multinational company renowned for its consistent profit outturn published its year end result with a depressing 94 percent drop in profits, a phenomenon blamed on the currency depreciation.

 

The depreciation also led to Nigeria losing its title as Africa’s largest economy — a symbolic downgrade that succinctly summarized the many challenges facing the country at that time.

 

For many followers of the national economy in that year and beyond, current happenings in the Nigerian economy are akin to walking through the same historical corridors.

 

Indeed, Nigerians had walked this path before and had experienced the same seeming awry economic assaults on their very existence as a people. The immediate reflex associated with such scenario was to capitulate. And capitulate, the country did.

 

Less than six months after the CBN’s free float policy adoption, inflation rates were skyrocketing in reflection of the vastly depreciated Naira. The CBN could not take the heat any longer. It dramatically announced a reversal to a currency pegged regime and a managed float of the Naira at the same time.

 

The country went back to its tradition of multi-tiers foreign exchange market. By May 2017, the country had five different forex rates. The interbank rate closed at N305.72/$ in second quarter 2017, the rate for government official transactions was N306/$, at the Investors and Exporters window, it was N360/$, and N366/$ at the parallel market.

 

This reversal to multiple exchange rate regime was accompanied with a capital control policy, the CBN restricted 43 items from accessing the official foreign exchange market.

 

In truth, the Nigerian economy had been buffeted from different sides by many domestic and global assailing factors between 2016 and 2020 which may provide an understanding of the Federal Government and CBN’s

insistence on state controlled and managed economy for the benefits of the poor and vulnerable. Yet, after many years of the control and managed options, we are left with an economy in stagnation; one that depends on the periodic boom in the oil and gas sector to deliver momentary economic prosperity.

 

He explained that by 2023, an economic template change had become inevitable.

 

“In our consideration, we believe that the Tinubu administration read the situation well by making overtures to the CBN to revert to the free float exchange policy.

 

Of course, the economy, like in 2016 has since responded to the policy with a volatility that is not only immediate but intense with macroeconomic rates flaring up disconcertingly. This had led to high cost of living uproar across different segments of the nation.

 

But rather than beat a retreat and embrace the populist option, the President has determinedly decided to walk the hard, lonely route of application of unpopular yet result oriented policy, by insisting on sustaining and driving the national economy on the wings of the already introduced policies, chief of which are the fuel subsidy removal and unification of Forex rates.

 

President Tinubu reinforced his commitment to going the whole hog with the implementation of these policies when he publicly declared during his visit to Qatar that: “This economy, we will grow it, and we will feed ourselves out of penury…if it’s corruption, we must exterminate it no matter how hard it is fighting back.”

 

We find this declaration instructive. It affirms the President’s unwavering commitment to seeing through the reforms he has undertaken to implement.

 

We also agree with the President’s call on Nigerians to persevere at this time because, according to him, nation-building requires perseverance and patriotism to succeed. It is to these two value orientations that we call the attention of Nigerians.

 

This country, by all possible evaluation metrics, is an economic giant waiting to take its position in the sun but it has remained stunted over the years because of policy misapplications, especially of such that emphasise today’s existence in opposition to creating wealth premised on delayed gratification.

We also agree with the President’s call on Nigerians to persevere at this time because, according to him, nation-building requires perseverance and patriotism to succeed.

 

It is to these two value orientations that we call the attention of Nigerians.

 

This country, by all possible evaluation metrics, is an economic giant waiting to take its position in the sun but it has remained stunted over the years because of policy misapplications, especially of such that emphasise today’s existence in opposition to creating wealth premised on delayed gratification.

 

With removal of subsidy in petrol, the daily consumption dropped by at almost 50 percent, a leakage that almost crippled Nigeria.

 

We also agree with the President’s call on Nigerians to persevere at this time because, according to him, nation-building requires perseverance and patriotism to succeed. It is to these two value orientations that we call the attention of Nigerians.

 

And also as we reference the robust optimism expressed by South African billionaire and Chairman of South Africa global grocer brand, Shoprite, Christo Wiese, who recently said that Nigeria’s large and growing population is impossible for businesses to ignore and that the recent exodus of companies from the country won’t last.

 

It is exhilarating to note that this sanguine description of the Nigerian economic state is coming from a foreigner who sat over a huge business concern that operates out of states across Nigeria. He definitely speaks from the point of knowledge and experience.

 

For him, Nigeria with over 200 million people, is the economic giant of Africa. This sizable consumer base presents an attractive investment hub for businesses and investors seeking opportunities in the region.

 

While no rational investor can ignore Nigeria, yet, economic makeovers such as the removal of fuel subsidy and floating of the naira aimed at revitalizing the economy, have yet to yield positive results.

 

Nonetheless, we have observed the peculiar Nigerian spirit of adaptation in the face of challenges and vicissitudes at work as exchange rates become prohibitive and inflation rates continue to increase. Nigerian startups, for example, are beginning to explore local options for some of the foreign-denominated services their operations require.

 

 

 

 

FULL STATEMENT BY IMPI

 

 

 

Policy Statement 08 Issued By Independent Media and Policy Initiative

 

Tinubu’s Reforms: We Admonish No Retreat, No Surrender

 

To understand the nation’s current economic milieu, we have to go back to June 15, 2016. Nigeria’s central bank, on that day, announced it would abandon its currency’s dollar peg in preference for a free float of the Naira in an effort to alleviate the chronic foreign currency shortages choking growth in Africa’s biggest economy.

 

Under one week after the announcement, the Naira slumped from the pegged rate of N197/$ to N287/$. Three months down the road, in August 2016, the rate had fallen by an aggregate 61 percent to the dollar.

 

Expectedly, there was bedlam in the economic space with the din of the attendant noise becoming aggravated when Nestle Nigeria Plc, a multinational company renowned for its consistent profit outturn published its year end result with a depressing 94 percent drop in profits, a phenomenon blamed on the currency depreciation. The depreciation also led to Nigeria losing its title as Africa’s largest economy — a symbolic downgrade that succinctly summarized the many challenges facing the country at that time.

 

For many followers of the national economy in that year and beyond, current happenings in the Nigerian economy are akin to walking through the same historical corridors. Indeed, Nigerians had walked this path before and had experienced the same seeming awry economic assaults on their very existence as a people. The immediate reflex associated with such scenario was to capitulate. And capitulate, the country did.

 

Less than six months after the CBN’s free float policy adoption, inflation rates were skyrocketing in reflection of the vastly depreciated Naira. The CBN could not take the heat any longer. It dramatically announced a reversal to a currency pegged regime and a managed float of the Naira at the same time. The country went back to its tradition of multi-tiers foreign exchange market. By May 2017, the country had five different forex rates. The interbank rate closed at N305.72/$ in second quarter 2017, the rate for government official transactions was N306/$, at the Investors and Exporters window, it was N360/$, and N366/$ at the parallel market.

 

This reversal to multiple exchange rate regime was accompanied with a capital control policy, the CBN restricted 43 items from accessing the official foreign exchange market.

 

Interestingly, the then CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, became an advocate of managed float and insisted that adopting a free float exchange rate for the Naira is both elitist and wrong. We consider this a volte-face away from his earlier avowal on the adoption of a free float market-determined forex rate policy.

 

Mr Emefiele added that if the Naira was allowed to float, the poor and low income earners will suffer more in form of high inflation. That was an understandable sentiment given the large percentage of the population of extremely poor. However, it was not the solution nor the trigger for prosperity the country direly needed.

 

With that Emefiele declaration, the attempt to float the Naira was officially jettisoned by the CBN. For us, that was adopting populism, over economic reality.

 

Seven years after embracing that option, the cost to the economy became obvious. The exchange rate to the dollar depreciated by more than a 100 percent from N197/$ in June 2016 to N463/$ in June 2023 when the CBN reverted to a free float again. In the intervening years, more than $30 billion had been injected in the Forex market to defend the Naira. Despite splurging that sum in the Forex market, inflation rate continued to increase, peaking at 22.41 percent in May 2023 from 15.6 percent in May, 2016. The foreign reserve was depleted to about $30 billion leaving the CBN with less fire power to defend the Naira. The country had merely survived not developed, it was a clear scenario of stagnation.

 

In truth, the Nigerian economy had been buffeted from different sides by many domestic and global assailing factors between 2016 and 2020 which may provide an understanding of the Federal Government and CBN’s

insistence on state controlled and managed economy for the benefits of the poor and vulnerable. Yet, after many years of the control and managed options, we are left with an economy in stagnation; one that depends on the periodic boom in the oil and gas sector to deliver momentary economic prosperity.

 

By 2023, an economic template change had become inevitable. In our consideration, we believe that the Tinubu administration read the situation well by making overtures to the CBN to revert to the free float exchange policy. Of course, the economy, like in 2016 has since responded to the policy with a volatility that is not only immediate but intense with macroeconomic rates flaring up disconcertingly. This had led to high cost of living uproar across different segments of the nation.

 

But rather than beat a retreat and embrace the populist option, the President has determinedly decided to walk the hard, lonely route of application of unpopular yet result oriented policy, by insisting on sustaining and driving the national economy on the wings of the already introduced policies, chief of which are the fuel subsidy removal and unification of Forex rates.

 

President Tinubu reinforced his commitment to going the whole hog with the implementation of these policies when he publicly declared during his visit to Qatar that: “This economy, we will grow it, and we will feed ourselves out of penury…if it’s corruption, we must exterminate it no matter how hard it is fighting back.”

 

We find this declaration instructive. It affirms the President’s unwavering commitment to seeing through the reforms he has undertaken to implement.

 

We also agree with the President’s call on Nigerians to persevere at this time because, according to him, nation-building requires perseverance and patriotism to succeed. It is to these two value orientations that we call the attention of Nigerians.

 

This country, by all possible evaluation metrics, is an economic giant waiting to take its position in the sun but it has remained stunted over the years because of policy misapplications, especially of such that emphasise today’s existence in opposition to creating wealth premised on delayed gratification.

 

In this regards, we reference the robust optimism expressed by South African billionaire and Chairman of South Africa global grocer brand, Shoprite, Christo Wiese, who recently said that Nigeria’s large and growing population is impossible for businesses to ignore and that the recent exodus of companies from the country won’t last. It is exhilarating to note that this sanguine description of the Nigerian economic state is coming from a foreigner who sat over a huge business concern that operates out of states across Nigeria. He definitely speaks from the point of knowledge and experience.

 

For him, Nigeria with over 200 million people, is the economic giant of Africa. This sizable consumer base presents an attractive investment hub for businesses and investors seeking opportunities in the region.

 

While no rational investor can ignore Nigeria, yet, economic makeovers such as the removal of fuel subsidy and floating of the naira aimed at revitalizing the economy, have yet to yield positive results.

 

Nonetheless, we have observed the peculiar Nigerian spirit of adaptation in the face of challenges and vicissitudes at work as exchange rates become prohibitive and inflation rates continue to increase. Nigerian startups, for example, are beginning to explore local options for some of the foreign-denominated services their operations require.

 

This is in response to the rising cost of these services in naira terms. The depreciating currency has increased the cost burden on startups that rely on foreign cloud services such as Amazon Web Service, Microsoft Azure, and more. $1000 for cloud services that would have cost N471,000 in early 2023 is now about N1.57 million, a 233.61 percent cost increase.

 

Services like Slack, Google Workspace, and others that are crucial for internal communications and operations of startups have also recorded a significant rise in naira costs. Now, Nigerian digital space entrepreneurs have de-dollarised to adjust to the current reality and have started switching hosting services, using internal IPs, and optimising its overall resource use. By our latest calculations, some have achieved a reduction of annual technology infrastructure operating costs by up to 69 percent.

 

At the end of the day, the committed, the creative and the passionate will make a way through the labyrinth of challenges to exploit the opportunity so availed by the policies.

 

It is in acknowledgement of this that we also review the latest quantity of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) importation figure which the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, says has reduced by 50 percent. That is to place the quantity imported in the region 31 million and 33 million litres. This, essentially, talks to freeing up funds that would have been tied up in importing about 66 million litres of PMS and channeling it into more productive use.

 

As one of the nation’s global entrepreneurs put it, while pessimism abounds, it is crucial to keep our eyes on the bright spots in Nigeria’s economy. We write off and ignore the country at our own peril; it could very well become a 22nd century superpower.

 

This should be the big picture for every forward looking Nigerian. Our fate should not be about existing from one day to the other; it should be about accepting the generational responsibility of standing in the gap for future generations. To sacrifice our today to change the economic trend of our country where rather than have millions numbered in poverty, we will have millions counted in wealth.

 

It is to this end we declare that we are unpretentious about our support and advocacy for the policies being advanced by the Tinubu’s administration targeted at enabling a market-driven economy. This is where we believe the fortunes of this great country can and would be unlocked.

 

Chief Niyi Akinsiju

Chairman

Independent Media and Policy Initiative (IMPI)

March 5, 2024

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Politics

Lagos Assembly Plans Geographic Information Law

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Lagos Assembly Plans Geographic Information Law

 

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– bill will create comprehensive database of Lagos state

 

 

 

 

 

 

– will curb issues involved in land ownership

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That A new bill that seeks to harmonise all geographic information service projects of Lagos is under consideration at the State House of Assembly.

 

 

 

Lagos Assembly Plans Geographic Information Law

 

 

 

 

 

The Lagos Geographic Information Service bill, which had stakeholders making contributions on Friday, is also aimed at establishing a computerised central database for all information relating to geospatial matters and related issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 4(2) of the bill says the agency’s responsibilities include introducing, implementing and sustaining best practices for all Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the state as well as “develop and maintain an online platform that will contain all information and statistics on geospatial-related matters.”

 

 

 

 

 

Lagos Assembly Plans Geographic Information Law

 

 

 

 

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, said the bill, when passed, would help in improving governance and boosting professionalism.

 

“It is targeted at integrating governance with advancements in technology. This is something we hope to always take advantage of so that our state can continue to be ahead in the area of development,” Dr. Obasa, represented by Hon. Stephen Ogundipe, a member of the House, said adding that the Assembly will always make the residents of the state its focal point.

 

Chairman of the House Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Ogunkelu Sylvester, said the bill “shows a commitment and sincere

sense of duty on the part of the legislators of the state to put people’s interest at heart.

 

“Today’s public hearing means a lot to the improvement of

information technology and computerised central database in Lagos State.”

 

Ogunkelu, who represents Epe Constituency 2 at the House, described it as a bill that will cover the database of Lagos just as he commended the Speaker for his passion for the progress of the State.

 

“The bill will guide the government to have a database of everything concerning Lagos and in this case, you could be in your house and apply for a certificate of ownership on your property and have it without even visiting the Ministry.

 

“It will also cut sharp practices and curb fraudulent sales of land. For land, the database will have details of owners including their photographs,” he said.

 

Rasheed Makinde, a former lawmaker, commended the House for its proactiveness while some of the stakeholders suggested the involvement of professional bodies in the proposed law.

 

Eromosele Ebhomele

Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

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Go Back Home and Contest Proper Elections Again, APC Group Tells Former Rivers Lawmaker

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Go Back Home and Contest Proper Elections Again, APC Group Tells Former Rivers Lawmaker

 

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Youth Frontier has advised the members of the Rivers State Assembly whose seats were recently declared vacant to go back and contest new elections.

Denouncing the lawmakers, the Lagos-based group in a statement on Tuesday said their defection from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is a betrayal of the trust and mandate given to them.

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Signed by its national president, Comrade Ajani Martins, the statement further described the defectors as political prostitutes who have no place in the APC.

According to Martins, their defection is not only morally wrong but a clear sign of their lack of principles and integrity.

Martins, therefore, said the ruling party doesn’t support such illegality and treachery, adding that those who voted for them deserve better.

“We have followed the political crisis in Rivers State and actions taken by major actors, including the assembly members,” the statement said.

“Our great party condemns in the strongest terms the treacherous defection of the 25 Parliamentarians. This act of political prostitution is a betrayal of the trust and mandate given to them by their party and the people.

“We reject and disown them and their selfish interests, which have led them to abandon the principles and values that their party stands for. It is clear that they lack commitment to any party’s ideals and have shown willingness to sacrifice the interests of their people for personal gain.

“We will not tolerate such treachery and will take all necessary steps to ensure that those who have betrayed the trust of the people are held accountable. We trust our party to continue to stand firm on our principles and values, and we will not be swayed by the selfish interests of a few individuals.

“To our loyal members and supporters, we urge you to remain steadfast and committed to our party’s cause. We will continue to work tirelessly to serve the interests of our people and to build a better future for our nation.

“We value loyalty, commitment, and dedication to our party’s principles and values, and we cannot guarantee that those who have abandoned their previous party affiliations share these qualities.

“We, therefore, advise the lawmakers to return home and re-contest. As it stands, they have lost their seats in the House. Our party doesn’t support illegality.“

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The Efficacy Of Primate Ayodele’s Prophetic Ministry Travels To Slovakia

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*The Efficacy Of Primate Ayodele’s Prophetic Ministry Travels To Slovakia*

 

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Unarguably, there’s virtually no continent or country in the world that the prophetic ministry of Primate Elijah Ayodele of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church hasn’t touched.

As Jesus Christ gave an instruction to His disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel to every part of the world, Primate Ayodele’s prophetic ministry which is rooted in Jesus Christ, has gone beyond his immediate environment to the uttermost part of the Earth.

Primate Ayodele practically runs a ministry without walls and boundaries; there is no limit to what he can prophecy about; God has placed in his hands a prophetic ministry that speaks to even the most unpopular nation as long as air reaches there.

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Interestingly, the value his prophecies donate to Earth has earned him the title of a leading prophet in the world; a prophetic icon whose prophecies never cease to come to pass. With about 15,000 fulfilled prophecies to his credit, Primate Ayodele has taken a permanent seat as the most influential and accurate prophet in the world.

To further cement his wide reach as a prophet for all nation, his 2024 prophecy regarding an assassination attempt on a serving prime ministry was fulfilled yesterday in Slovakia, a central Europe country.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico suffered life-threatening injuries when he was shot and wounded in an attempted assassination on Wednesday, the government office said.

Fico, 59, was shot five times in the central town of Handlova on Wednesday. He was in critical condition and underwent several hours of emergency surgery.

The incident shocked Slovakia, a small central European nation with little history of political violence.

Primate Ayodele in his 2024 prophecies regarding ‘The World At Large’ called for prayers against the assassination of a prime minister.

‘’The voice of the Lord whispered to me that in 2024 we must pray against the assassination of a sitting President, a former President, a Prime Minister and a former Prime Minister whose assassination will be successful. Let us pray against a coup in Africa or mounting pressure or uprising that can lead to the removal of a sitting President. The spirit of God says there will be a lot of financial crises globally’’

At the time he shared this prophecy, some critics even went as far as misquoting him to prove a pointless point but undoubtedly, now that it has happened in Slovakia, they will have no choice that to agree with the credibility of Primate Ayodele.

Furthermore on the international scene, Primate Ayodele’s prophecies on the Israel-Palestine war seem like a script of what is currently happening. Before the war started, the prophet warned world leaders to work against escalation that will lead to the death of people but they didn’t listen and just some months after the prophecy, the war began.

He had also said that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanhyahu will not kowtow in his plans to attack Rafah, a Palestine city. In fulfillment of this, Rafah was attacked some weeks ago by the Israeli army. Additionally, the death of Alice Munro, a Nobel Laureate was foretold by him.

Continuing, the attack on Muslims while praying in a mosque in Kano yesterday is another fulfillment of Primate Ayodele’s prophecy. During an interview session towards the end of last year, the prophet asked Nigerians to pray against attacks of people in religious gatherings.

Summarily, Primate Ayodele’s prophetic ministry has added so much value to life and is worth every accolade given to him. As a Nigerian, he has continued to fulfill his ministerial obligation by frequently releasing prophecies and as a global icon, He has proven his credibility.

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