This scorecard presents the performance of President Buhari’s second term – first 100 days (May 29-Sep 7, 2019) across important economic and business metrics.
It is believed that the feedback will assist agents and actors in the regulatory policy space to effectively situate their intervention measures as the timeline of the present administration enters its mainstream.
To begin with, it is noted that the 1st 100 days was shaped by some key domestic and international realities which include: two months delay before the appointment of ministers with downside consequence on investor’s confidence; P&ID judgement debt of $9.6 which currently put about 3% of the nation’s GDP at risk; rising insecurity and killings across the country accounting for 5,798 fatalities in 901 incidents over the period.
In addition, the heightened US-China trade war, the escalating Xenophobic attacks of foreigners in South Africa, Brexit crises in UK, extensive protests by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and softer oil price from $75 per barrel down to $62 are partly the events that defined economic and business outcomes over the last 100 days.
Macroeconomic scorecard during the period shows slower economic growth performance of 1.94% in Q2-2019 from 2.01 in Q1-2019. This performance is lower than the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) growth forecast of 4.1% for 2019.
Moreover, GDP growth of 1.94%, which is far below 3% annual population growth remain a cause for concern due to its wider implications on welfare and poverty conditions in the country.
Apart from inflation rate which continued to moderate lower currently at 11.2% from 11.4$ in January 2019, other economic and business indicators such as exchange rate, external reserve, unemployment rate, foreign direct inflows and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All Share index metrics show depressing performance.
For instance, capital importation into the country slowed to $5.8 in Q2-2019 from $8.5 in Q1-2019 and the NSE year-to-date performance stands at a loss of -12.2%.
There seem to be a continued absence of well structured, broad-based and synergised economic project with clear vision that is being pursued in an active and coordinated fashion.
Economic policy space remains unclear and fragmented within the arena of key public authorities and agencies. Some of the prominent policies and regulatory response that were rolled out during the first 100 days are: FIRS commencement of VAT charge on online transactions effect from January 2010, restriction of forex on milk and more food items, closure of land borders across the country and the signing into law of AMCON 2019 (amendment) Act that empowers it to access financial details of debtors.
Analysts believe that these interventions are mostly spontaneous and largely insufficient to trigger impactful economic prosperity.
Beyond the numbers, the performance scorecard that works best for investors is to see a more conducive business environment that propels firms to become more competitive and sustainable.
To the average Nigerian, what matters to them is for the government to provide platforms for basic welfare and improved quality of life such as access to quality healthcare, improved transportation system, constant supply of electricity and security of lives and property across the country. For now, the prevailing realities suggest that we are very far from realizing these ideals and how much the present administration is working towards the desirable economic and wellbeing thresholds remain to be seen.
The ongoing coordinated and deliberate development strides being experienced in Rwanda is a near-by template for all to see.