Economist, Bismarck Rewane says President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his new cabinet need to understand the urgency to deliver as Nigerians want immediate deliverables.
Rewane who is also the chief executive officer of Financial Derivatives Company said this in an interview on Channels Television programme, Business Morning.
Rewane noted that President Buhari’s plan to deliver growth and lay the foundation for 10million jobs in the next 10 years is a long-term vision which contrasts Nigerians hope to see immediate results.
“How are they going to achieve this? The President has laid out his vision but the thing is that 10 years is a long time. Nigerians can’t wait for 10 years, they can’t even wait for 10 months, they want results now.
“Mr President, yes we like this (10-year plan) but we want some immediate deliverables.
“To get the immediate deliverables, first and foremost there has to be fiscal and monetary coordination to be able to unlock and deliver results.
“We have to manage our expectations and go back to total factor productivity or labour productivity,” he said.
Rewane added that the President and his team have to understand that there is a control and command economy.
According to him, the days of economy protection, days of controls and restrictions would automatically force you to change your investment behaviour.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Financial Derivatives Company, Bismarck Rewane, has asked the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, to tell Nigerians who he wants to sell the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to and how he intends to go about it.
Mr Rewane’s question comes shortly after the Presidential Candidate reeled out his plans for the nation and his intention to privatise the NNPC, as well as sell all four national refineries if he is elected to the office of the number one citizen of the country come 2019.
“I agree that the NNPC should be privatised, but selling to who?”
“You must not just say you are going to sell, you must tell us how, and to who? he questioned.
The economist who was a guest on Channels Business Morning, cited the system of India as an example which uses a voucher system to that of Nigeria, noting that rather than the system running as a government-owned, it will have to become privately-owned.
He explained that such systems are better run as Nigerian privately-owned than government owned, just as its done in Saudi-Arabia.
“If you are going to have a voucher system as they have in India, where everybody in the public then you can sell it.
“Tell us who and who, and how you are going to ensure that it is not sold to your own cronies.
“One of the big risks of privatisation is the Russian model, where you have chronic capitalism.
“If you have businessmen, who are in government like Donald Trump, you want to make sure that both the government and the people are protected from conflicts of interest.”
Mr Rewane called on the Atiku to guard against selling to “öur own cronies”, in the name of privatisation.
Economist and Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company, Mr Bismark Rewane, has asked the Federal Government to sell Nigeria’s refinery and adopt a pricing mechanism that works for private investors.
Mr Rewane made the call on Sunday during an appearance on Channels Television’s special End of the Year Programme, after explaining that repeated efforts to maintain and turn the fortunes of the refineries around have failed.
Over the years, there have been calls for the privatisation of the refineries, but the calls have often been countered by some others.
Mr Rewane, who noted that the calls had continued when the current administration came to power, said, “Three years later, we are looking at it and they are not performing. So, I’m hoping that the President in discussing the issue tomorrow will accept that one of the solutions is to sell those refineries off and stop playing around with these suboptimal solutions. Let us have solutions that work.”
Stressing that companies in the telecoms sector are performing well, Mr Rewane said, “If we did the same thing for petroleum refining just like the NLNG, then we’ll begin to see solutions.
“For now, we have to accept that because there is hoarding (one), and because everyone is afraid – people that normally fill their tanks up to 25 percent are filling 100 percent, the demand (for fuel) has more than doubled.
“It will take some time before the confidence is restored and all that. So, it is part of the problem that we have and it is a perennial problem so we have to solve it with a broad solution. The way I see it, sell off those refineries, encourage Dangote refinery to ‘fast forward’ and then more than anything else have a price mechanism that works.
“There is no queue in Cotonou, there is no queue in Lome and they don’t have refineries. So, it is a perception and market problem. We need to have the pricing right, and if you know you are going to subsidise it, then pay the subsidies at the right time so that everybody is happy and they can do things.”
President 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.”