Economic Crisis: Bismarck Rewane Faults Jonathan, Buhari Administrations

Bismak Rwane Blames Jonathan, Buhari Administrations For Economic Crisis
File photo: Bismarck Rewane

The Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company, Bismarck Rewane, has blamed the immediate past and present administrations for the crisis in Nigeria’s economy.

This comes amid a war of words between members of the both administrations over which managed the economy better.

Comments by former President Goodluck Jonathan at the Peoples Democratic Party’s non-elective convention on Saturday had fuelled the war of words with his supporters and party rallying to his support, while the Presidency and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress have insisted the past administration drove the country into recession.

Rewane, who spoke via skype on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, explained that both administrations contributed to the country’s economic woes.

For him, the discussion should not, however, be about trading blames but about fixing the economy.

According to him, the decline in economic growth started from the former administration but the present government was slow to save the country from the mess.

He said, “It’s not a picture of you fail or you pass, the picture is the fact that the economy is on the mend after being deteriorated.

“Most of the deterioration actually happened, the slide started, well before the Buhari administration came in but they did not take steps fast enough to arrest the slide.

“The slide shouldn’t have been as bad as it was but they’ve recovered it and now we are on the mend and I think things are much better than they were.”

The economist accused the previous government of raiding the excess crude account and using it for “a subsidy scam” which he said almost crippled the economy.

That is, however, not enough reason for the Buhari administration not to act fast in saving the economy from its crisis.

“What happened in 2013 was that that excess crude account was raided; it was raided and also used for consumption; it was used for consumption and also used for a subsidy scam which almost brought the country to its knees,” Rewane said.

“But that is not the reason why the economy should continue deteriorating and why it should be allowed to drop to this point before the recovery.”

The Financial Derivatives Company boss added that the Jonathan administration was not disciplined in managing the economy while the Buhari administration was not focused on the recovery process.

“So there are blames on both sides; one, for the incompetence and lack of discipline of the previous administration and two, for the procrastination and lack of focus of this team.

“Now, what has happened is that this team has recovered and you can see the recovery but the recovery is going to be slow, painful and difficult,” he said.

Buhari’s Economic Team In Special Meeting With Experts

Economic TeamPresident Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic Management Team (EMT) held a consultative forum with a team of notable economic and financial experts at a meeting presided over on Tuesday by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

At the parley which held at the Presidential Villa, strategies and suggestions on how best to reflate the economy, bring it out of recession and promptly restore growth topped the agenda.

Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, made this known on Tuesday evening.

At the meeting, the Vice President expressed the President’s determination to continuously consider and adopt policies that would boost business, increase employment and provide succor to the poor and disadvantaged.

Speaking at the forum, Prof. Osinbajo said “We will continue to engage with experts and other stakeholders so we can measure progress of the economic policies that have been put in place.

“The challenges are many but the opportunities are much greater, we are clearly on the path to building an economy that will create jobs and ensure inclusive growth.”

The EMT meets weekly and also holds special consultations with members of the private sector and economic experts.

Experts who attended the four-hour long special meeting were Mr. Bismarck Rewane, Mr. Bode Augusto, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, Dr. Ayo Teriba and Prof. Badayi Sani.

Issues discussed at the consultative forum include the review of the new foreign exchange regime and its effect on the economy as well as the draft Medium Term Economic Framework for 2017-2019.

The EMT members and the experts made a plethora of suggestions on how to reflate the economy, especially through massive infrastructural spending with active private sector participation, ensure pro-people economic policies, increase the supply of dollars to the forex market among other issues.

Also speaking with reporters at the end of the meeting, Minister for Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma said, “We’ve just finished a special meeting of the economic management team, as you know, we are in the middle of consultations to develop the new mid-term economic framework, M-TEF.”

He further disclosed that the meeting was “part of a comprehensive consultation process that we are embarking on to make sure that we reach out to a wide spectrum of Nigerians to get a feed back in terms of how best to make sure that we come out of this recession.”

Economist Points Out Real Issues In Nigeria’s 2016 Budget

Bismarck-RewaneAn economist, Bismarck Rewane, has identified real issues in the 2016 budget that Nigerians and the parliamentarians must focus on and address in good time.

Mr Rewane stressed the need for the lawmakers to accelerate the budget debate and passage to stimulate the Nigerian economy, saying that there was “no time to be wasted playing around with the budget document”.

He made the comments on Wednesday while giving his opinion on the budget debate and shift of the time of passage by the National Assembly.

“Nigerians and the parliamentarians must understand the difference between what is important and what is urgent.

“There is no pure budget document.

“Approve those things that you are comfortable with and the things that you are not comfortable with, throw them back to the ministries to do what they have to do. We cannot afford to wait.

“You have to stimulate this economy into growth,” the economist stressed.

He agreed that some of the details of the budget could be frivolous, but emphasised that the real issues should be the focus of the government.

“The debate at this time should be; is $38 a reasonable and realistic oil benchmark? Is it possible that we can produce 2.2 million barrels of oil per day when our quota is 1.7 and our actual production is 1.8 million? That is almost a 20 per cent deviation from the estimate.

“Is the deficit going to be 2.2 trillion Naira when the price of oil has dropped and our revenue has dropped by 30 per cent? How are we going to fill the gap? Are we going to borrow? If we are going to borrow almost 2.3 trillion, where is the shortfall going to come from? These are the things we should be talking about,” Mr Rewane questioned, pointing out the contentious areas in the budget.

The spokesman for the House of Representatives, Abdulrazak Namdas, said that the National Assembly would do its best to ensure that the budget that would be passed would be acceptable to all Nigerians.

He said that timing was not much an issue, explaining that the National Assembly had amended the appropriation of 2015 for the capital expenditure to run till March 31, 2015.

“Even if this budget is passed on 25 February, it will not take effect until first of April. I think we still have time on our hands and we are going to work on that very well.

“On Friday, the session with MDAs [Ministries Department and Agencies] will end and committees will start to meet with the appropriation committee and see how this thing will work,” the lawmaker stated.

He said that the parliament had decided to amend the timing and extend it to March 31 in view of the time that the 2015 appropriation would elapse.

Move To Impeach Aregbesola Stalled By Petitioner’s Absence

Rauf-Aregbesola_Osun-election-resultThe sitting of a seven-man committee set up to look into the petition filed by Justice Folahanmi Oloyede, indicting the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, on account of financial recklessness suffered a setback on Tuesday, as the petitioner failed to appear before the committee for defence.

After Justice Oloyede filed the petition, the committee asked the petitioner, ‎who is a serving Judge in the State, to appear before it with facts backing the petition sent to the State House of Assembly on June 19.

In the petition, Justice Oloyede had accused the Governor and his Deputy, Titilayo Tomori-Laoye, of mismanaging the state’s funds and therefore called for their Impeachment.

The day had started with heavy presence of security personnel at the entrance of the Osun State House of Assembly on Wednesday in expectation that the sitting will hold.

It was not a day for the usual legislators’ Plenary Session, as the gate to the House of Assembly was shut and everyone had to be screened before going in.

‎But when the committee commenced sitting, the petitioner did not appear instead she sent in representatives, a development that led to a mild drama at the venue, which forced the committee into a closed-door meeting with the representatives of the petitioner.

After the meeting, a representative of the petitioner, Lanre Ogunlesi, told reporters that the petitioner could only appear before the panel with her defence if the response of the respondent was given to the petitioner.

Legal experts, who spoke to Channels Television, commented on the representatives views.

They said the committee, headed by Akintunde Adegboye, was mandated by law to forward the respondent’s answer to the petitioner

The committee has only two days left to make the two weeks deadline given to it to submit its report to the State House of Assembly‎.

However, there have been allegations and counter-allegations from various quarters on the credibility of the committee set up comprising of only lawmakers that are members of the All Progressives Congress in the House.

Governor Aregbesola is one of the governors owing State workers salary across Nigeria, which the Governors had blamed on the reduced allocation from the Federation  Account, but an economist, Bismarck Rewane, said the development was as a result of financial recklessness by some Governors.

MPC Decision: Rewane Examines Impact On Average Nigerian

rewaneThe Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr Bismarck Rewane, on Wednesday, examined the outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee’s meeting on Tuesday.

The MPC had decided to leave key rates unchanged, including the Monetary Policy Rate, which remains at 12percent.

Appearing as a guest on Business Morning News on Channels Television, Riwane stated that, the “market is always tentative in anticipation of reactions of Committee but maintained that there were 3 dimensions to be considered, concerning the MPC’s decision.

Dimensions

He noted that the first concern was to “keep immediate monetary policy stable and to align monetary policy with monetary conditions”.

He further stated that the second dimension was tactical as the Committee had taken precautionary measures based on current market status and events to happen in the next 3 months.

He stressed that economic growth is a function of so many variables, interest rate targeted mainly in making sure that inflation is controlled.

And what Central Bank is doing is using leading indicators ahead of cycle to stimulate the economy.

 Impact On An  Average-man

Riwane noted that the impact on the average man “is not going to be obvious” based on past examples.

Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 Is Not Possible – Analyst

An Economy analyst says Nigeria’s plan to be among the top 20 economies by the year 2020 is not possible going by the 2013 economic scorecard.

A Review of Nigeria’s Economy scorecard for 2013 showed that Nigeria ranked 37 out of 192 nations in the Global GDP Ranking with a GDP of $283 billion.

“To make the top 20, Nigeria’s GDP is expected to hit 900 billion dollars. Nigeria will have to overtake 17 countries in seven years, which, to me, is not possible and it’s not going to happen,” the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane said on Wednesday while reviewing Nigeria’s Macro Economy.

Nigeria’s GDP growth rate as captured in the scorecard is 6.4 per cent while the Labour Productivity is 3.9 per cent. The Non-oil growth also stood at 7.95 per cent.

He pointed out that the country is growing in spite of its productivity.

“The scorecard shows that Nigeria is just taking oil form the ground and just selling it.

“What we need is to move towards productivity, where people actually produce rather than just sit down and share oil money.

“Stolen oil is not part of the productivity and that is inimical to the nation. It is important that something is done to stop it,” he said.

Economist Says Foreign Investors Will Not Be Deterred By Emergency Rule

An economist and the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company, Bismarck Rewane has said that the imposition of emergency rule in some troubled northern states is a positive step in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Nigeria.

Mr Rewane, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Business Morning said in a crisis ridden country, investors expect that the government do nothing, do the right things or do the wrong things.

The economist said Nigerians must abandon the notion that it will only take foreign investors to alter the economic destiny of the country.

He said, “Let us get away from this understanding that foreign investors are going to alter Nigerian’s economic destiny. If domestic investors do not invest in a country, no foreign investor will invest there.

Focus on issues biting the economy not N5000 note – Wale Oluwo

Wale Oluwo the CEO of the investment banking BGL Group and Bismarck Rewane; CEO Financial Derivatives Limited reacted to the controvery over the introduction of N5000 note.

On the part of the CEO of the BGL Group; he feels it is not an issue that is supposed to be debated now for there are other issues eating up the economy of Nigeria right now.

N5000 note Controversy: It is a non-issue – Bismark Rewane

Wale Oluwo the CEO of the investment banking BGL Group and Bismarck Rewane; CEO Financial Derivatives Limited reacted to the controvery over the introduction of N5000 note.

Bismarck said he feels there’s so much time wasting as it is a non-issue.

On the part of the CEO of the BGL Group; he feels it is not an issue that is supposed to be debated now for there are other issues eating up the economy of Nigeria right now.

A focus on the economy of Nigeria

Business Morning presenter;Esther Ugbodaga had business analyst/CEO Bismarck Rewane to analyse the country’s economic performance in the first quarter of the year 2012.