The Association of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria (ACMAN) has lamented the outcomes of the recent economic reform measures, saying it has been characterized by weak growth, high inflation, unemployment and volatile exchange rate, among others.
While x-raying the 100 days performance of the current administration, ACMAN, in a press statement yesterday, said: “The Nigerian economy has been characterized by weak growth, high inflation, unemployment and volatile exchange rates, rising public debt and fiscal imbalance compounded by CBN’s Ways and Means and a corrupt fuel subsidy regime. These legacy challenges confronted the President on assumption of office. Against this backdrop, the twin policies designed to end fuel subsidy and unify multiple exchange rates, which defined the administration’s first 100 days in office, were largely welcomed by both domestic and foreign investors and seemed to boost confidence in the economy.
“Perhaps nowhere has this confidence manifested better than the stock market where the benchmark index (NGX ASI) hit the highest level ever in the history of the Nigerian stock market (over 68000 points) with year-to-date return now above 30 percent.
“But these reforms have left in their wake unpalatable outcomes which have made life more difficult especially for the ordinary Nigerian. Inflation rate is on the rise with food prices largely unaffordable. There is evidence of declining economic activities with fewer vehicles on the roads and reduced work days in both private and public sectors. Similarly, not a few micro and small businesses have reduced their scale of operations due largely to inability to afford the high cost of fuel.”
Continuing, Prof Uche Uwaleke, President, ACMAN, said: “The President is advised to move speedily to ameliorate the pains brought on vulnerable Nigerians on account of the sudden removal of fuel subsidy. This sahould include scaling up the interventions in Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, MSMEs and Agriculture as the cuarrent size of the total package is very small, at less than N1 trillion.
“We are convinced that more money can be made available to cushion the negative impact of fuel subsidy removal from reducing cost of governance, plugging revenue leakages and tackling the challenge of crude oil theft”.