Stop economic mismanagement, Afenifere tells FG


The pan-Nigerian Social Welfarists group, Afenifere has urged Nigeria’s government to rethink its economic policies, citing high inflation and increased poverty as major concerns affecting citizens.

In a release signed by Afenifere’s Publicity Secretary, Prince Justice Faloye, the group warned that if the Federal Government does not change its current economic policies during the first year of its scorecard review, the ongoing economic turbulence may persist.

It claimed it would further impoverish the citizens in the following years.

The group advised President Bola Tinubu’s administration to pay heed to the yearning of the masses and alleviate their plight.

It stated that the economy had experienced severe turbulence in the one-year administration of Tinubu.

Afenifere called for a better understanding of the economy to stop the alarming rate of inflation, devaluation, increasing unemployment, homelessness, and poverty.

“Firstly, it is an illogical economic belief that the subsidy removals and tax increases that remove money from the economy will stimulate economic growth. Therefore, the adoption of flawed neo-liberal theories of subsidy removal and unbridled tax increases must be stopped since they always contract the economy. Ours is no exception as companies are folding up and leaving due to fuel and electricity costs skyrocketing, fuelling galloping inflation and fall of real incomes.

“In apparent over-reliance on a one-sided monetary policy, this current government has been hiking interest rates with the Monetary Policy Rate standing currently at 26.25 per cent from 18.5 per cent a year earlier. The Central Bank of Nigeria also raised the Cash Reserve Ratio to 45 per cent from its 32.5 per cent position a year ago,” it said.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu announced the removal of subsidy on petrol in his speech at his inauguration on May 29, 2023.

Meanwhile, on June 14, 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced the unification of all segments of the forex exchange market, causing the local currency to depreciate from N463.38/$ on June 9 to N632.77/$ at the official forex market.

The naira has further weakened to N1,482.63 on May 27.

Afenifere emphasised that those policies were crowding out the productive sectors of the economy from much-needed loans.

According to the group, hikes in interest rates are not effective in curbing inflation for the twin reasons that whatever loans are withheld from the private sector by the restrictive policies are flowing to the government, which is spending recklessly and pumping the same funds right back into the markets.

Mike Ojo

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