I got a serious letter from a serious person, a very formal letter.
The person tried to explain the political and economic posture of the Buhari Administration…saying many simply hate the President who is under severe pressure to deliver so much in so short a time.
let me explain my stance on Buhari…President Buhari is in over his head. There was no freedom of information and Twitter in 1983…his successes and failures cannot be hidden in 2018 like they were in 1983…..it is that simple. If President Buhari performs, his successes will sell him, ditto if he fails, his failures are apparent.
Going back to 2015 when Buhari was elected….i gave him a chance, I knew the APC campaign promises were not realistic, i knew we CANNOT add 4,000mw every year or create the jobs IMMEDIATELY….but i was overjoyed when Kayode Fayemi a very close Adviser of Buhari went to Lagos Business School and said PMS subsidy will go and other economic plans that spoke of a forward thinking APC government. Slowly it has dawned on me that APC really has no economic platform, its not that APC Ministers are stupid or dumb but Buhari has not come into the 21st Century in terms of economics. I do not believe President Buhari really understands the workings of a $400b economy. Let me use the Exchange Rate and Refining policies as examples.
As oil prices fell and Nigeria went into a recession the standard response should have been to devalue the Naira to stop imports and balance our books….put less pressure on the foreign reserves. Devaluation is a CBN duty…not the Executive, But Buhari came out strongly against devaluation….he went as far as telling the elite Brigade of Guards that he was overthrown in a coup because in the 1980s he refused to devalue the Naira or raise prices of petrol. So imagine you are the CBN Governor and you see and hear your President telling soldiers that devaluation is akin to a coup on his government. what will you do? devalue?
So the CBN continued the insane policy of a fixed exchange rate with disastrous consequences, Nigeria went into recession, was kicked out of the JP Morgan Government Bond Index and owed airlines…..Our foreign reserves were also depleted to maintain this fixed exchange rate policy…..
The CBN realizing the economy could not sustain a fixed exchange rate left the official exchange rate alone and in April 2017 opened a new “window” called the Investor and Exporter (I&E) foreign exchange window. This window is used to pay for “invisibles” like loan repayments, remittances, Capital Repatriation, management fees, international airline ticket sales etc. In effect, CBN devalued the Naira in that window….the effect was immediate, in 4 months $10b flowed into Nigeria. Nigeria reserve are now at $42b, Foreign Portfolio Investments are flowing back to Nigeria, Nigerian Bonds have been over subscribed eight times!
All these is because the CBN got the courage, and applied basic economics to the Exchange Rate Policy, in direct opposition to the President pledge not to devalue. Is President Buhari aware the Naira has been devalued? Are his supporters who now use the foreign reserves accumulation as a positive feature of the Buhari government aware this success is a direct repudiation of the Buhari economic policy?
This is where we find ourselves, Many Nigerian who support the President, do not support his policies…..if they did they would not glorify the Foreign Reserves rise.
Another great example are the refineries…they are not working, they are liabilities not assets, old and rusted. Nigeria is importing Petrol because her refineries are comatose….but President Buhari does not want to sell or dispose of the refineries….he wants someone to use his funds fix the federation refineries via a strategic partnership, while the FGN retains ownership. This policy was revelled in March 2017. we are still waiting for this investor….but remember once The Dangote refinery opens, the local refineries except one will become like Ajaokuta steel company…..dead.
The NNPC staff are not stupid, but their President wants a “Strategic investor”….so they either wait or do a “CBN”model……in the interim, Nigerians will line up to buy fuel and subsidy in the billions will be paid.
So i make these two examples to show the problem is not corruption but Mr President economic mindset. If Buhari has devalued the Naira and sold of the refineries…he would have had $80b in Foreign Reserves by 2017, with lower debt and no recession.
So again to my serious friend, I personally do not hate the President, i am simply following the facts and posting. Where he has done well like passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill in NASS ( which he has not signed) i have showered him with praise.
The reality is simple and cold, President Buhari is in over his head.
I so post sir…