Change in government for impending election will not improve economic outlook.
In light of the crisis that have ravaged Nigeria’s social, political and economic status quos over the last years, the impending general election have become so significant as to heralding major changes in the current dilapidated situations. The impending general election, unlike the previous ones will witness a mass participation, with Nigerians aiming to air their grievances and demand socioeconomic developments through the polls. As a result, there have been numerous debates as regards the best candidate to salvage the situation.
Retrospectively, Nigeria’s business sector in 2022 showed a not too good outlook and experts have however predicted that the economy sector will likely experience stagnancy as a result of the change in government billed for the impending election. In reviewing how the business sector have fared over the years, it is evident that the sector had been marred by cases of inflation, high unemployment rates, insecurity, poverty depreciation of currency and bad foreign exchange policies, high cost of energy, increased public debts and the redesign policy of the country’s currency and its implications.
NBS notes that 65 percent of Nigerians are multinationally poor.
Inflation significantly increased from 15.60 percent in January 2022 to 21.47 percent in November of the same year, representing a 5.59 percent inflation increase in a calendar year. The figure, while compared to November 2021, was higher at a 6.07 percent variation. The economic implication was immensely impactful for Nigerians who witnessed a surge in the prices of food during this period. The National Bureau of Statistics noted that 133 million, representing 65 percent of Nigeria’s population was said to be multidimensionally poor. The World Bank also affirmed this by disclosing that over five million Nigerians had been pushed into poverty in 2022, as a result of the decline in the consumers’ purchasing power by 35 percent.
In fact, the economic crisis in 2022 got worse, due to the whooping 33 percent unemployment rate in the country, according to NBS’ September survey. The heightened case of insecurity across the country also led to a bad economic ambience, causing poor patronage, loss of jobs and business shutdowns. Also, numerous Nigerians were further exacerbated as a result of the CBN’s foreign exchange management, flooding and fuel scarcity. These harsh conditions immensely plunged the country’s economic development.
No receding inflation if CBN continues its policy trajectory in 2023.
Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Minister for Finance, Budget and Planning, whilst commenting on the storms that have hit Nigeria’s economic development, stated that the Federal Government had implemented the Economic Sustainable Plan, the National Economic Development Plan (2021-2025) and other schemes to enhance the economic growth of the country. A financial inclusion/ Wealth Management expert, Mr. Idakolo Gbolade, during an interview, noted that the economic challenges of the country would not recede, if the government continued in the present trajectory. He further stated that 2023 would not witness immense change as it would be an election year. He noted that whilst the outgoing government would pay less attention to the economic situation, the incoming government would need time to develop strategies.
He added that if the Central Bank of Nigeria continued with its policy trajectory in 2023, there might be no receding inflation or reduced poverty rate. Idakolo again noted that the political loggerheads due to the redesign of the currency might also impact the implementation of this policy, as well as its outcome. On the case of insecurity, he pointed that the continued efforts invested in salvaging the insecurity situation would definitely restore the confidence of numerous investors.
Many small medium enterprises folded up due to bad economic ambience.
The don of Accounting and Financial Development at Lead City University, Ibadan, Prof. Godwin Oyedokun noted that numerous businesses failed to survive during the reviewed period. He noted that many small Medium Enterprises had to fold up as a result of the unfavorable economic ambience such as the high energy cost and even big companies had to cut off operations due to this same situation. He pointed that it was of no use for the economy to place the expenditure on fiscal consumers to cover its operational cost. On the tax increase, he noted that it was a good policy to enhance the economy, thus indicating his optimism for a better economy for Nigeria.
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