Experts argue that the newly inaugurated Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Olawale Edun, should make it his top priority to address the problems plaguing Nigeria’s economy.
Following President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Monday inauguration, Edun now has to deal with Nigeria’s fiscal, monetary policy, inflation, unemployment, foreign exchange, and debt burden, among other economic challenges.
With a debt load of N77 trillion and a rising poverty rate, the country’s inflation rate surged to 24.08 percent in July. The cost of life has increased for Nigerians as a result of the elimination of fuel subsidies and the ongoing foreign exchange crisis.
At the same time, President Tinubu called on his new cabinet of 45 ministers to solve all of Nigeria’s problems in his inaugural address.
All of you who have been sworn in have been called to stand out in a time of great opportunity and great danger. He remarked that Nigerians had “high expectations” for high-quality service delivery, openness, and responsibility.
Experts have echoed Tinubu’s call to the Ministers, urging Edun and his staff at the Ministry of Finance and its agencies to tackle head-on the problems of inflation, poverty, unemployment, and the Naira’s depreciation.
Prof. Godwin Oyedokun, a professor of accounting and financial development at Lead City University in Ibadan, told BANKPAWA in an interview on Monday that Nigeria’s newly sworn-in Minister of Finance must take ‘business unconventional’ measures if he wants the country’s economy to thrive.
He said Edun had a responsibility to make sure that the benefits of ending the fuel subsidy were shared fairly among all Nigerians.
I have no doubt in Mr. Olawale Edun’s ability to deal with Nigeria’s economic woes since he is a man of integrity. Since they have been a part of the government from the beginning, he has no more excuses and must get to work immediately.
The economy is in a sour mood, and many are having trouble making ends meet. Nigerians are worried about the recent changes to the currency rate and the price of gasoline.
Everyone is feeling the pinch right now, therefore it’s important to investigate the palliative care options available and determine the criteria for distribution.
“The Minister must look at the palliative” is the formula to ensure that “ordinary citizens get,” he said.
Also, he said, “the forex problem must be solved squarely,” meaning that the government should deliberate over what needs to be done to solve the problem permanently.
Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) Muda Yusuf urged the Minister to address economic governance, macroeconomics, fiscal consolidations, foreign policy reforms, and trade impediments.
The Minister, he continued, must implement economic strategies that have been tried and true.
Yusuf said the Minister should take all necessary steps to restore order to the foreign exchange market.
“Tax reform to prevent wasteful administration, curb tax dodging and avoidance, and do away with double taxation.”
Increase government revenue by making revenue-generating agencies more efficient at what they do.
Start reviewing service-wide votes to make sure there is openness and stop budget padding and duplicating initiatives.
Make sure that tax dollars are being spent wisely. Make a pact to bring down the price of administration. Liquidity release through “optimized use of national assets,” he said.
Idakolo Gbolade, CEO of SD & D Capital Management, added that the Minister should investigate possible replacements for government borrowings and work to plug revenue leaks.
There is a lot of pressure on the Coordinating Minister of the Economy to move quickly to implement the government’s policy on palliative care and make good use of the money that has been saved.
The Minister is responsible for stopping money from leaking out of the government and looking into other options besides borrowing.
To revive our faltering economy, it is the Minister’s duty to ensure that all MDAs do their jobs.
It is safe to say that Mr. Edun was among those who drafted the blueprint that President Tinubu is using for the economy, so it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for him to carry out the policy directive of the government.
The NNPC Limited $3 billion loan for crude swap is a bridge that the government has begun rapid actions in.
The government is also taking action to mitigate the effects of subsidy elimination by enacting a number of reforms in the transportation industry.
“The government’s policy to stimulate the economy through various loans to the manufacturing sector, SMEs, and youth entrepreneurs could help to activate the economy positively and help reduce inflation within the shortest possible time if it is properly implemented,” he said.