The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and economists on Wednesday countered the claim made by the President, Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, that the economy is better under him than in 2015.
The Chairman of the Gas Group, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr Ola Adebayo, said Buhari’s regime’s policies have not translated into positive economy growth and real sector development.
Adebayo said, “One thing I have observed is that policy formulation is different from implementation. With the recent events, I don’t think the government has passed. We only have very good policies on paper, but the implementation has been lacking. Once there is no implementation, it becomes just an idea.”
Also, the Deputy-President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Gabriel Idahosa, said the reality was at variance with the claims of the President.
He said the current regime has not succeeded in attracting the private sector to invest in critical infrastructures like railways and airports, saying that the government’s economic model is counterproductive and not in the best interest of the economy.
“The business community has been consistent in saying so. It’s not a matter of disagreeing with him. It’s a matter of looking at the facts at the table.”
Idahosa further said, “We don’t really need any complicated analysis to see whether the policies are addressing the issues of the business community. Whether it is power supply, the foreign exchange market, whether it’s a model that enables the private sector to invest in infrastructure in a manner that enables business to thrive, it is clear for all to see.”
On his part, Director-General, the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Mr Sola Obadimu, said Buhari’s assessment of his administration’s economic policies did not reflect the realities on ground.
According to him, his regime had failed in all economic indices and should be humble to admit it.
He said, “In the past seven years, we have witnessed the most volatile phases in our industrial life. For instance, if we pick the Naira valuation as at when he came in and now, you will see the difference. That has been unfriendly to industry.”
An economist and Chief Executive Officer, Center for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, said that between 2015 and now, the nation’s economy has recorded over 200 percent currency depreciation.
He said that the investors’ confidence has worsened within the period under review and major indicators show that the economy is lagging behind.
Also speaking, the Founder of Cowry Assets Management Limited, Mr Johnson Chukwu, said, “I will be belittling myself to comment on issues like that. Let me ask you, what is your take on it? If I were a journalist, I wouldn’t even write about it. That’s how I feel about that comment. Because it just doesn’t make sense for me to be wasting my time talking about it. I need to initiate conversations higher than that level. Because even a daft and a person who didn’t go to school will discuss it. It doesn’t make sense. Somebody said I’ve done well and you want me to discuss it. I guess you understand how I feel about that. It doesn’t make sense for anybody to discuss it.