“As a people normally gets the government it deserves, so a society normally receives the punishment it asks for.” — Robert Audrey, in Social Contract

All at once, we seem to be suffering from a plague of sorts in Nigeria. One is destroying our cars and pockets with adulterated fuel. The other, we are discovering to our national sorrow, has been a mole for organised crime syndicates in the top levels of the Nigerian Police establishment.

It is difficult right now to determine which would turn out to be worse for our economy in the end. The situation of things represent our punishment when we voted for Buhari. However you look at it, one word links them — CORRUPTION. By now, the only people left who have not accepted the fact that the FG has lost the fight against corruption are the self-deluded inhabitants of Aso Rock.

On Saturday, January 1, 2022, I published several predictions about what Nigerians should expect this year. Among them was the following: “Forget the 2022 Budget; it will never be implemented.” I also projected a tougher year than what we suffered in 2021. We are less than two months into 2022 and President Buhari has shredded the Budget. Here is how.

“Buhari requests N2.55tn supplementary budget for subsidy from NÁssembly.” — News Report, February 16, 2022.

Here, in part, is the letter from Buhari to the National Assembly:

“An additional provision of N2.55tn will be required to fund the petrol subsidy in 2022. Consequently, the Federation Account (main pool) revenue for the three tiers of government is projected to decline by N2tn; while the FGN’s share from the account is projected to reduce by N1.05tn.”

With that request, which is certain to be granted by the NASS, the 2022 Budget went down the shredding machine. All the man hours and funds wasted in preparing the now worthless document will never be known. But they represent the punishments we asked for in 2015 and 2019. More lashes are on the way.

“FG, states set for showdown over planned N950bn FAAC deductions.”

It is not only the FG which will suffer from reduced revenue this year. States will also feel the impact. That portends unrest in most states; most of them are already stretched to the limit. A decision made to continue subsidy by the FG is now causing collateral damage to states’ finances. Trouble is on the way.

CBN announces imminent forex scarcity

“Banks forex ban: Dollar scarcity, inflation, firms’ closure imminent, experts say” —News Report, February 14, 2022.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had on February 10, 2022 announced that banks will no longer be allocated foreign exchange by December this year. Banks have been advised to meet their foreign exchange needs from export proceeds. The banks, having no choice over the matter, really don’t need the advice from Mr Emefiele. They have been cast adrift; and should be left alone to source their foreign exchange by any legitimate means. More trouble.

Obviously, with doors slammed in the faces of banks, Bureaux De Change, BDCs have also had the gate shut on them. But, make no mistake about it, most of them will not go out of business. Only the exchange rate will climb up for reasons not too hard to understand.

 

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