• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Investors await Buhari’s New Year economic plan


As 2015 witnessed absence of clarity in the policy direction of the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, investors are once again looking forward to his New Year plan in order to be cock-sure of where to put their money.

Investors say though some ministers like Babatunde Fashola have unveiled agenda which could serve as policy directions, many other ministers are yet to say exactly where they wish to go.

“For instance, we do not know whether the minister of industry, trade and investment will carry on with the National Industrial Revolution Plan,” said Matthew Ibe, managing director of a chemical plant in Enugu State.

“We want to see another brand of Agricultural Transformation Agenda. Whether you now choose to call it Agricultural Change Agenda, what matters to us is to know the clear plan of the government,” Ibeabuchi said.

Muhammadu Buhari’s six-month wait for appointing members of his cabinet in November 2015 meant that investors were kept in the dark over the policy direction of the Federal Government.

Since his appointment of ministers, there have been few but cloudy policy statements from the Federal Government over how they intend to chart a course for investments within the economy, especially in the real sector.

But businesses have witnessed an unprecedented struggle over the government’s foreign exchange and import restriction policies.

“If nothing is done about the forex policy, companies will close down in three to six months,” Frank Udemba Jacobs, president, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) told BusinessDay last week, before the CBN announced easing of the forex market this week.

Investors had earlier told the president to provide the private sector with a clear-cut policy plan with which to move the economy forward.

“At this time, we eagerly await President Buhari’s economic blueprint that would define the policy directions of his administration,” said Remi Bello, immediate past president, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), in a statement made available to BusinessDay last June.

“This is important for policy clarity, strategic planning, investment decisions and confidence,” Bello added.

What private sector players who spoke with BusinessDay said was that Buhari should ensure that they were not sceptical of putting their money in the country this year, adding that only very few people would choose to commit money in an atmosphere of uncertainty.