Former Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari should be blamed for the worsening economic situation of Africa’s biggest economy, says Morgan Stanley Investment Management.
The investment advisory company, which is affiliated with global investment banking giant Morgan Stanley, aired this view in its recent report titled, “Tales From the Emerging World: Nigeria’s New Dawn?”
It attributed most of the difficult economic challenges currently facing the real and financial sectors to poor economic policy decisions, a consequence that brought the country to its most trying economic times in 40 years.
It said, “Nigeria suffered eight years of economic stagnation under the administration of the previous president, Muhammadu Buhari, a former general who had promised to tackle corruption.”
Prior to Buhair taking over the leadership of Nigeria, analysts at Morgan Stanley Investment Management said that data from the World Bank had shown that the country was growing at an unprecedented rate—a situation that got it tagged among the 15 fastest-growing economies in the world.
A situation that was pleasing to both Nigerians and investors overseas about the economic potential of the country.
However, Buhari’s lack of managerial initiatives, as clearly seen in some of his questionable economic policies, pushed the country off the rail tracks to economic el-dorado.
Apparently, one of such questionable policies was his refusal to remove fuel subsidy and the implementation of foreign currency controls.
It said, “According to the World Bank, the country ranked among the top 15 fastest-growing economies globally between 2001 and 2014, with an average growth rate of 7 percent.
“But the economy careered off the rails during Buhari’s two terms, starting in 2015, with annual real GDP growth averaging a paltry 1.4 percent during his tenure.
“Buhari’s failure to remove fuel subsidies and the implementation of foreign currency controls hobbled the private sector, while a lack of economic growth exacerbated the level of extreme poverty.”
Morgan Stanley Investment admitted that due to these poor economic policies, President Bola Tinubu has today inherited a massive population of poor people whose 71 million strong army live below $1.90 a day, a far cry from the 61 million Nigerians who in 2016 lived with that same amount.
Buhari, who promised to lift millions out of poverty by creating 10 million jobs every year, failed to achieve this and instead grew this number.
During Buhari’s period, Nigeria’s “average income shrank by nearly one-third, from $3,222 to $2,200, one of the steepest declines recorded by any country over that time span, while Kenyans saw their incomes rise by more than 40 percent.”
Analysts at Morgan Stanley Investment agreed that the falling income, worsening economic situations, insecurity, and uninspiring government policies started a new wave of mass emigration of Nigerians known as “Japa” a Yoruba word for “to run away or escape”.
It, however, applauded the current administration for the bold steps it has taken to arrest the country’s dwindling economic fortunes and boost investor confidence in the country again.
In particular, it praised the removal of feul subsidy and the collapse of the multiple exchange rate system as two of those policies that can lead the country back on the road to economic progress.