Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Experts Advocate FG’s Support For Local Manufacturers

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The federal government has been advised to deliberately support local manufacturers towards increasing production for local consumption and export towards jump starting the economy

The advise comes following grave concerns about massive depletion of the nation’s excess crude oil account.

Financial analysts and public opinion moulders said that being a producer nation is an important step towards waking up the economy and reducing inflation.

Orange FM’s Gbenga Oluwajana who has been following developments on the Excess Crude Account crisis and it’s impact on the economic challenge confronting the country reports that the Excess Crude Account was created in 2004 by former president Olusegun Obasanjo to track the country’s excess revenue from crude oil.

The account balance in February 2014, just before President Buhari took office, was $3.6 billion, one of the highest balances ever.

However in 2017, a report by the Natural Resource Governance Institute ranked Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account as the most poorly governed sovereign wealth fund among 33 resource-rich countries in the world.

Similarly in April 2019, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranked Nigeria as the world’s second worst country in the use of sovereign wealth funds, after Qatar.

Also economic analysts say despite Nigeria’s position as the largest producer and exporter of crude in Africa and one of the 10 largest producers in the world, the country is not maximizing the potential in its oil sector while its Excess Crude Account continues to suffer serial abuse without commensurate economic growth or infrastructure development.

On Tuesday, 26th July 2022 the office of the Accountant General of the Federation raised an alarm that Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account had depleted to $376,655 in July from $35.7 million recorded as of the previous month.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed had emphasized that for quite sometime the Account had remained unfunded.

A political economist, Muda Yusuf said apart from the volatility of the price of oil in the international market, the culture of spending of the Nigerian government had not shown that the country has a revenue challenge.

An economist, Orji Odumueze lamented how badly the economy had been managed calling for a holistic review to boost production and reduce exportation.

A financial analyst, Mr Olarenwaju Bankole said there is the need for government to reduce its borrowing, reduce exportation and boost production drive.

Other experts charged government to live up to their responsibility and work towards a consistent focus on productivity alongside comprehensive security overhaul for economic growth.