" /> Nigerians to celebrate bleak Christmas | Hallmarknews
Published On: Wed, Dec 21st, 2016

Nigerians to celebrate bleak Christmas

 

Many who spoke to Business Hallmark noted that the incessant hike in the prices of household goods, especially foodstuffs which have pushed inflation rate to about 20 per cent, has made it very difficult for them to shop for Christmas.

Rice which many serve during the Yuletide celebration, which was sold for between N9,000 and N13,000 this time last year, now goes for between N18,000 and N23,000 in different parts of the country. The economic meltdown has caused many State governments to owe their workers salary arrears for  several  months.

Mrs Bunmi Komolafe, a secondary school teacher in Osun state claimed they have been receiving half salary for about one and a half years now and they last collected salary for September. According to her, things have  been very tough for  her family and wondered how she would be able to cope  during this Christmas with half salary and five children to fend for.protest

Mrs Folake Ayodele, who works with a church in Lagos told BH that she usually buys Christmas wears for her children around November, but because of the economic crunch, she was yet to buy clothes for them and with the look of things, they may have to settle for old ones.

About two million workers have so far lost their jobs this year alo
ne as the economic recession made many companies to fold up or significantly cut down their workforce.

The most recent data from National Bureau of Statistics showed that the country’s unemployment rate stands at 13.3 per cent. The situation is further worsened for many Nigerians who had their money trapped in the ponzi scheme, MMM.

A lot of Nigerians had invested millions in the ponzi scheme, which pays 30 per cent returns, with the hope of having something to spend during the Yuletide, only to be told two week ago that it has been suspended till January. David Okoh who is based in Kaduna BH that his Christmas celebration has been ruined because the N100,000 he planned to spend during the festivity is now trapped in MMM.

“This year’s Christmas would be definitely bleak for me, because the money I hoped to  spend during this period is now hanging in MMM. I just pray the scheme resumes in January, because it has really helped me,” he lamented.

“The feeling  would certainly be horrible, especially when you invest all the earnings for the year into MMM with the hope of doubling it for a fun-filled Christmas and New Year Celebration, only to be told that the account has been frozen till January , I am sure that the feelings will not  be so great,” Adeola Oredola posited.

 

Shoprite, Other South African Companies to Increase Investments in Nigeria

Shoprite, Other South African Companies to Increase Investments in Nigeria

The Certain Bank of Nigeria and Security Exchange Commission had repeated warmed Nigerians against investing in the ponzi scheme, explaining that they would lose their money, because MMM was not sustainable.

READ  Lafarge names Alode new company secretary

Many traders and artisans have also been complaining of low patronage. Chuks Peter, who sells electrical appliances in Meiran area of Lagos said he had never had it this bad. He claimed for some time now, he has been going to shop without anybody requesting  to  buy even bulbs from him, adding that he is not sure of how his family would cope during these  festivities.

Many who usually travel home for Christmas and New Year celebrations said the economic situation would force them to remain in their base. Donald Ezeife, a clearing agent at the Muhammed Murtala International Airport, Lagos, who usually go to the East during Christmas said he can’t afford to travel home this year, because business has been very dull at the airport.

The Nigerian economy dipped into a recession by the second quarter of 2016 as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), slid by a further 2.1 per cent (after skidding down by 0.48 per cent in the first quarter of the year). Several economists and financial analysts have argued that slide in virtually all major economic indicators in 2016 could lead to a full-blown depression if urgent measures are not taken to stem the tide.

Of late, inflation has pierced the roof, as the Naira tumbles in foreign exchange markets with the local currency trading at N475.00/$ in parallel exchange markets; interest rates have equally reached troubling heights with domestic lending rates hovering between 27 and 32 per cent. The price of crude which contributes the highest revenues to the country has dropped sharply from the giddy altitude of $114 per barrel in June 2014 to $32 before settling recently to between $40 and $48 a barrel.

Whereas many industry analysts believe that the nation’s revenues have shrunk, they also note that the ongoing recession in the country has been policy induced.

Anger, hunger, Anguish and frustration have pervaded the nation. Some of the policies that experts consider are responsible for the hopelessness of the economy include; the fixed exchA malnourished childange rate which has only recently been modified into a flexible exchange rate. This did and has continued to keep investors on edge as forex inflows have significantly dropped off. Unfortunately, prices of goods and services have climbed hurting both middle and low income earners.

With the Monetary Policy Rate (MPC) at 14 per cent, cost of funds has remained high. Manufacturers and other local investors cannot borrow money from banks to fund their businesses at the rate of 27 or 30 per cent. In the light of this, many companies have laid off many workers while others have cut salaries by half and more. It is estimated that more than 4 million Nigerians have been relieved of their jobs given the economic crunch.

READ  OPEC production falls to six month low

Many industry experts have predicted that inflation may hit between 19 and 20 per cent before the end of year. Unfortunately, ameliorating measures of increasing the MPR to 14 per cent has not curbed inflation as expected by the authorities.

Tight monetary policy has not achieved its objectives and this has been worsened by a supposedly liberal fiscal policy which has also not succeeded in expanding economic output.

This has resulted in an economic ‘screwdriver’ a situation where twists in both fiscal and monetary policy have driven the economy to lower output levels at higher rates of domestic inflation. Faced with the situation both the monetary and fiscal authorities seem to be passing buck with the fiscal authorities urging the central bank to reduce rates while the Bank insists that the finance ministry should cut back on fiscal borrowings and raise domestic taxes such as the Value-Added Tax (VAT) to stanch the leak in the budget and fund the deficit.

Torn between the arguments of both economic policy institutions the presidency appears to be in a state of unguided confusion. The more the presidency tries to fiddle with policy tools the deeper the depth of hardship they seem to inflict on Nigerian businesses and workers.

The Buhari’s economic team was constituted six months after he assumed office as the President of Nigeria. The team emerged after he had carefully selected his best experts with the hope of turning around the nation’s economy. In the team that are supposed to run a better economy than the previous government are Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Budget and Planning, Senator Udo Udoma Udo, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, DG, DMO, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, Special Adviser on Economic Mathers to President Buhari, Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Okechukwu Enyinna Enelamah, Minister of Trade, Investment and Industry.

This group of professionals has been entrusted with the herculean task of reversing the recessionary trend. They are expected, in addition to using the instrumentalities of fiscal and monetary policies, to think out of the box and save the nation’s economy from sinking into further depression.

They have therefore, grappled with current economic challenges such as government spending, exchange rate, inflation, interest rate, partial restriction of forex to importers of 41 items to grow the economy. Yet all the major economic indicators have trended southwards as the GDP slipped into the negative of 2.1 percent in the second quarter 2016. It is not clear whether they are going to succeed in saving the economy from its continuing drift to the dangerous zone.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Recent posts

  • 2017: Investors look back in defiance

    By TESLIM SHITA-BEY The year 2017 was not supposed to be a happy one. Inflation was 18.72 per cent at the beginning of the year, unemployment had jumped a few hoops to settle at 25 per cent for those between the ages of 18 and 25, while lending rates had gotten stuck in a band […]

  • Profit taking drags equities market down

    The All Share Index (ASI) of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) was down -1.00 per cent on back of profit taking by investors. The bourse closed at 38,534.64 basis points against Tuesday’s 38,924.63 and its year-to-date returns to stand at 43.39 per cent. The equities market hits the 39,000 mark last week and attained three […]

  • Lafarge names Alode new company secretary

    Lafarge Africa Plc has appointed Mrs Adewunmi Alode its new company secretary. In a release signed by the company’s group managing director, Michel Puchercos, which was sent to The Nigerian Stock Exchange on Wednesday, Lafarge Africa stated that her appointment takes effect from December 12, 2017. The new company secretary who had held several positions […]

  • OPEC production falls to six month low

    Oil market may not stabilize before end of 2018 despite Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) production reaching six month low in November as U.S. production continues to increase than expected. The Wall Street Journal quoted the oil cartel to have said Wednesday in its monthly oil report that production declined by about 133,500 […]

  • Breaking: 20 vehicles burn as tanker explodes in Festac

    No fewer than 20 vehicles and four commercial motorcycles were on Wednesday afternoon burnt when a tanker laden with petrol fell and spilled its content on the Festac Link Bridge in AwuwoOdofin LGA of Lagos State. The fire started at noon and raged for about an hour Vehicles burn as tanker explodes in Festac area […]

  • Gunmen break into Magu, EFCC chair’s home, shoot police officer dead  

      Some yet to be identified gunmen, Tuesday broke into to the Abuja home of the Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu and shot dead a police sergeant attached him the Cable reports  The tragic incident was said to have occurred around 10pm. The attackers reportedly stormed the house […]

  • I fear Nigeria might break up- Awolowo-Dosunmu

      By Obinna Ezugwu Daughter of late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. (Mrs) Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu has expressed deep concerns about the survival of Nigeria, noting that the country may likely disintegrate if not restructured. “I don’t even want to imagine it (Nigeria not being restructured) because we have come to a breaking point,” a visibly […]

  • How Buhari tackled Jibrin over ‘budget padding’ scandal

      The Cable A simple question from President Muhammadu Buhari to Abdulmumin Jibrin, former chairman of house committee on appropriation, put paid to his allegation of “budget padding” against Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, a new book has revealed according to the Cable. Jibrin had alleged that the 2017 budget was padded […]

  • Lagos govt evicts GIG motors, Peace, GUO, other transporters from Jibowu

      Obinna Ezugwu Lagos State Government on Tuesday sealed off the premises of major transport companies including God is Good Motors, Peace Mass Transit, Chisco Transport, GUO Transport Ifesinachi and other companies in Jibowu area of Yaba, Lagos. Justifying the move, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Olufemi Salami who acted on the approval of […]

  • World Cup: FIFA deducts points from Nigeria, fine NFF for fielding ineligible player in qualifier

    By Obinna Ezugwu Nigeria has come under a heavy hammer by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) disciplinary committee  for fielding an ineligible player, Shehu Abdullahi for the World Cup qualifier against Algeria on November 10, 2017, a statement by the committee said on Tuesday. The world football’s governing body fined Nigerian Football Federation […]

  • UPP commends PDP on successful convention, extend hand of fellowship

    By Obinna Ezugwu United Progressive Party (UPP) has congratulated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the successful conduct of its December 9 convention and tasked it to join hands with other credible opposition parties to deepen the country’s democracy This was contained in a statement signed by the founder and National Chairman of the party, […]

  • Nigeria lacks leaders with moral compass – Amb Keshi

    By Obinna Ezugwu Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Joe Keshi has decried what he called the lack of moral compass among Nigeria’s political elite, noting that poor leadership was the country’s biggest challenge. Keshi who bared his mind in a chat with BusinessHallmark in his Lagos home recently, regretted that virtually all […]

  • Non Yoruba in S/West inaugurate forum, vow to take rightful place in zone’s politics

    By Obinna Ezugwu Political and cultural leaders of various ethnic groups resident in the South West, Saturday last week at Ota, Ogun State, came together under the aegis of Non Yoruba Indigenes Empowerment Initiative, to seek ways of working together for a fair deal in the zone’s polity ahead of the 2019 general election. Various […]

  • Don’t celebrate yet, agitation for restructuring not over- Uko warns presidency

    By Obinna Ezugwu Founder, Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) and Secretary General, Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA), Evang Elliot Uko has warned against any suggestion that the South East geopolitical zone has been “forcefully” and “violently” pacified as according to him, such is false. Evang Uko who is also the Deputy Secretary of Igbo Leaders of Thought […]

  • Nigeria’s Debt Service ratio falls to 45%

    Nigeria has made significant improvement in its debt-service-to-revenue ratio as it dropped from 66 per cent to 45 per cent. This is coming on the back of improved revenue mobilisation from both domestic and foreign sources. The government has been aggressively driving its tax reform with the introduction of Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme […]

  • Banks’ NPLs reach 10-month high in Q3

    FELIX OLOYEDE Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) in the Nigerian banking industry hit 10-month in September, latest data from the the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has shown. The report quoted by CNBC states that NPLs in the Nigerian banking sector reached N2.42 trillion at the end of Q3 2017, which is 10-month record high. Muyiwa Oni, […]


Visit us on Google+