THE IMPACT OF “CHANGE MANTRA ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA
BACKGROUND OF STUDY
It is now a glaring fact that so much is happening in the Nigerian polity, especially in relation to economic policy making agencies. This may be partly owing to the pressure of stakeholders at the local and international levels on finding a lasting solution to the current challenges of the Nigerian economy. Declared to be officially in recession a few weeks ago, Nigeria has witnessed a reactive series of policy statements and approaches from different policy making bodies even to the point of creating policy summersault as manifest in the arguments and counter-arguments of decision makers.
In retrospection, the unpleasant fact that was beginning to manifest in recession had hitherto been predicted by renowned economic experts. These experts had been volunteering intermittent opinions on the staggering economic indices and its effect on market forces from the first quarter of 2016. It was however not until the beginning of the third quarter that this bitter pill had to be swallowed, following the indicators by the National Bureau of Statistics which showed Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data of a negative growth rate of -0.36 per cent and the declaration by the Federal Minister for Finance, as well as the Governor of Central Bank. At present, the situation is still unimpressive, with a GDP contraction of about 2.06 percent, an increase in inflation rate to about 17.6 percent coupled with a fall in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and an external reserve that is down by 25 percent. Highlighted reasons for the unimpressive indices include the fall in global oil prices from over $100 to below $40, past mismanagement of resources, and ongoing security challenges in the oil rich region, which had led to a reduction in the production of crude oil from the anticipated 2.2 million barrels to just above a million barrels. Invariably, these changes have exerted an overwhelming pressure on the non-oil sector, leading to an increase in gross inflation in the price of goods and commodities, high electricity tariffs, worsening foreign exchange rates, and a commensurate increase in consumer spending, among others.