Stop the commercialization of the Nigerian economy, advises Senator Sani
The Chairman of the Senate Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions Committee, Senator Uba Sani, has warned that the constant and persistent criticism of the fiscal and monetary policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is sending false signals on the economy nationwide at one point, Nigeria desperately needs the trust and closer collaboration with local and international investors and development partners.
The senator, who represents Kaduna Central in the upper house of the National Assembly, rejected highly exaggerated claims in some quarters that the Nigerian economy is on the verge of collapse.
He said: “It is true that our economy suffers from certain tensions. But it is a global phenomenon that was largely spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is a natural disaster that was not predicted by anyone or by any government. Thus, the world economy is slow and the Nigerian economy cannot be an exception in the era of globalization. We are witnessing a force majeure situation on a global scale, ”he said during a conversation in his office at the National Assembly.
“There is no point in throwing all the blame on the CBN or even specifically, on the governor of the CBN, as some people are doing now. I don’t think traveling this route too often is helpful. We need to stop the blame game and let all of us, all concerned, do what we need to do to help the Nigerian economy fully recover from the very devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. “
Senator Sani revealed that Senate Speaker Dr. Ahmed Lawan strongly rebuked necessary committees in the Senate, including the Senate Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions Committee, to offer the CBN, government departments, to departments and agencies all legislative support that falls within their competence and powers, with the aim of strengthening the Naira and the national economy as a whole.
“As you may know, the National Assembly, in particular the Senate, is fully prepared to receive the 2022 budget from the President. In fact, I believe that budget would be presented to us this week. In the Senate, we have resolved to approach the 2022 budget differently. Now is not the time for bogus or wacky projects or programs. We intend to streamline the 2022 budget to meet our needs, not our wants. These are desperate times and desperate measures are needed to help our economy recover. We will not participate in the blame game; rather, we are determined to help the CBN, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federation Budget Office and other MDAs in a coherent manner, ”he said.
The senator further argued that the management of the economy of any nation is like an orchestra, where several members of the group must play their role in a coherent and transparent manner.
According to him, however perfect any CBN policy may be, the complementary efforts of other government agencies would be necessary to achieve the desired gain or goal.
“A policy is a journey, not a destination. If the CBN is implementing a wonderful fiscal or monetary policy today, if this policy does not enjoy the complementary support of critical MDAs such as the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the NNPC, EFCC, ICPC, NFIU, Police, Customs and so on, this policy would come to nothing in the end. So my frank advice is that we stop putting all the blame on the CBN and the governor of the CBN. Let us all work together to achieve a full recovery of our economy which has been marred by the pandemic, ”he said.
Sani also compared running a nation’s economy to a football team, saying: “The front line, which is the attackers, must strive to score goals. But in order for them to score goals, midfielders need to provide them with balls as accurately and consistently as possible. And for a football team to win, defenders must make sure that the opponent does not overtake the team. They must defend effectively and the goalkeeper must have agility and catlike reflexes. Thus, a person cannot be a striker, a defender, a midfielder and a goalkeeper at the same time. Let’s stop the blame game and the demarketing of our economy. On the contrary, let’s roll up our sleeves and do what is necessary to help our economy rebound. “
The senator recalled that several Nigerians had congratulated the same CBN for its decisive interventions in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that he is aware that the CBN has created credit facilities for health care; targeted credit facility and manufacturing sector. He said the interventions helped prevent the country’s economy from sliding into a long recession.