John Izuka, (LinkMoment).
"Buhari Needs A Heavy Weight Champion" - John Izuka.
It’s 240 days (7 months 26 days) today since Buhari became the President of Nigeria. It looks to me that the managers of this economy have not yet realized that what we need is ‘war time’ thinking to overcome the challenges we currently face.
We need ‘heavy duty’ economists and thinkers around the President now to help or even guide those I see on the horizon. Forget Soludo’s biases and his attention-seeking disposition, we need him around the President. He has confidence and has studied economies; why they fail, rise and how they turn the corner. The President needs Soludo now!
By Second Quarter (Q2), I see the Buhari government making serious changes in its very young cabinet soon. I see the government fortifying from the media to the Economic Management Team. This is euphemism for saying that Buhari will soon sack some of his aides. You will agree that there have been a litany of issues and almost incompetence from his media team to the budget crafters. Thinking about the media gaffes, error-filled letters, push backs and prevarications on the budget wears one out mentally.
Today, on all the indices with which Economists measure performance of countries, Nigeria is prostrate – Foreign Direct Investment, Stock Market performance, Foreign Reserve, Inflationary Rate, Balance of Trade and Payments, Economic Diversity, etc.
At the rate our Stock Market is losing money, if the trend is extrapolated the market will cease to exist by 2016 year end. It has lost 11.3% of its value January month-to-date!
The challenge is that governments, most African governments that is, are hard of hearing. They do not listen to advice and this is why they need to bring respectable people into their fold so they will own the new ideas that will be given them.
From Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) – documented trade transactions, between January and May, 2015; Nigeria spent US$6.49 million importing textiles. This means that undocumented payments for textiles add another US$7 million dollars to the total figure. This can be saved.
Mandating ALL primary and secondary schools in Nigeria to wear only uniforms made locally and woven by indigenous textile companies should not be difficult, yet the government is still ‘getting ready’ to do something in this space 8 months after. This idea is old. I came across this idea first in a case study given to us back in FUTO as students but no one has implemented this yet. Jobs can be created and sustained, Foreign Exchange (FX) saved for Nigeria and we may become a regional hub. Today, ALL school uniforms are made from imported fabrics and that is when the uniforms are now sewn in Turkey, as is the case today.
There are so many ways we can save FX but I wager that no matter what I say, the man won’t hear let alone implement them. The social media is a hotbed of ideas but Buhari does not come this way and those that do can’t tell the man. We need someone to catalyze economic activities and salvage a terrible situation.
We need a Heavyweight Champion!
By John Izuka
Mr. Izuka is a banker