Emefiele Dangles Fraudulent Carrot •Sets $40bn External Reserves Mark •APC Flounders On

By catthews on November 13, 2017


Views: 613


When it was becoming very evident that nothing good would ever come as dividend of democracy from the ruling All Progressives Party (APC), the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) suddenly sputters to life.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, last Friday, in the apex bank’s economic forecast for 2018, said the country’s external reserves, which had faced daunting challenges, rising since the wake of the fall in oil prices in June 2014, would hit $40bn next year from $34.3bn as of November 3, 2017.

But before this epoch making announcement from a key public servant of a party that seemed to have changed gear from being a ‘progressive party’ to one with a ‘retrogressive’ mindset, Nigerians were continually treated to a heavy wave of embarrassing high-profile scandals; the most recent being the attempt on the life of the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, by his former boss and predecessor, Rotimi Ameachi, the current Minister of Transport, in order to gain control of political power in the state

But prior to the attempt on Wike’s life by Ameachi, the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu was having a hell of a time trying to shake-off the whistleblower who informed the EFCC of the $43m, N23.2m and £27,800 (N13bn) recovered from an Ikoyi apartment.

Still before this, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, the Interior Minister, Abdulrahmane Danzabau, Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoSF) Winifred Oyo-Ita are yet to give satisfactory information on how former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina got back into the civil service. Maina, who is on the run, has been having fun exposing steamy deals ongoing in the service. 

Finally, the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris is still trying to wriggle out of the damaging allegations leveled against him by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Isah Hamman Misau.

And not to forget the award of contracts worth $25billion by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Group Managing Director (GMD)  Maikanti Baru; the misconduct in the award of these contracts was revealed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.

Back to Emefiele, it is curious that his sudden interest in the level of the country’s external reserves is coming after it was revealed that he is violating laws, by illegally operating secret companies in tax havens. Although Emefiele has been trying to explain away his involvement in the said companies, there is probably still more to the matter than meets the eye.

The truth is that more than any administration in this present democratic dispensation, this APC government has not been straight forward with the country’s incoming revenues.

Since the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigerians have been continuously fed with lies when it comes to the right amount of monies that should go into the external reserves, by the time Obasanjo left, the external reserves hovers around $48 billion. But considering the strength of the international price of the crude oil, it was easy for the country’s reserves to have hit at least $200billion, Obasanjo, however, squandered the opportunity, opening the Excess Crude Oil Account (ECA), as a diversion. 

Late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua lifted the reserves from $48billion to about $52 before he died, then comes the calamity that has probably ever occupied the Abuja, Aso Rock Villa, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who reduced the external reserves from $52 billion to a dismal $23 billion.

Although, since taking over power, the APC has pushed it up to $34.3billion; that in itself is insincerity at its best, because the country is generating enough revenue internally and externally to have enabled the party push the external reserves to at least well over $100billion.

The Federal Government has proposed a sum of N8.6 trillion in its budget for 2018, the sum is expected to be funded thus; projected revenue from the non-oil sector at N4.16trillion, oil revenue for the 2018 fiscal year is projected at N2.332trillion, and Deficit at N2.005trillion.

It is shameful that the presented document as it is smacks of deceit and sheer fraud.

The fact is that the returns on oil and non-oil will far exceed the quoted amount and Nigerians would not be informed where the remainder of the proceeds is going. It is equally a fact that running part of the budget on deficit is a falsehood each succeeding administration has been using to trade in illicit monies that should have either gone to the federation account or the external reserves.

It is equally a thing of shame for President Muhammadu Buhari to think that his administration has done well by resorting to part financing the 2018 budget with N500billion recovered through its anti-corruption efforts, when ordinarily there should be other monies available for this particular purpose.

It is a matter of fact that the ruling APC has never implemented any of the past budgets hundred per cent, the party is not going to do it with the 2018, which begs the question, what happens to the balance of the monies presented in previous budgets.

The president is seeking a second term; it is unfortunate that some members of the party have decided to gang-up against him, denying him an automatic ticket; all in the name of politics.

It is, however, laughable that none of his antagonists is credible or worthy enough to occupy the office and should there be such a person, Nigerians are eagerly awaiting his/her emergence.

In the interim, the president has to pay more attention to the economy; he should start by impressing it on the CBN Governor to move up the mark set for the external reserves from $40billion to at least $100billion.

The country needs to stop alms begging in guise of unnecessary loans from a country like China that has diligently pushed its reserves to over $1trillion and from bodies like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) whose best fiscal and economic policies are predatory in nature.

Probably the president, who doubles as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, still doesn’t know that, the pricing of the petroleum products – kerosene, diesel, petrol and domestic gas – is still too high and needed to be lowered.

Also, the Power Sector is in dare need of urgent attention, and there is no way forward but for the federal government to ‘re-bundle’ the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and reinvigorate it for optimal performance.


Source cattnews

Posted 13/11/2017 10:55:39 AM




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