NIGERIA ECONOMIC REVIEW Statistics and Other Lies

By Jason, Pini | African Business, June 1998 | Go to article overview

NIGERIA ECONOMIC REVIEW Statistics and Other Lies


Jason, Pini, African Business


When it comes to economics, Nigeria seems to live in a world of virtual reality. Everything works on paper but nothing does in real life Pini Jason reports.

It has now become customary for the Nigerian government to use the annual budget presentation as an excuse to preen itself on its economic performance. In this it did not disappoint during the 1998 budget presentations by Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha and the Finance Minister, Chief Anthony Ani.

According to government: "1997 recorded some positive developments in the economy. Inflation tumbled from 29% in December 1996 (from 72.8% in December 1995) to 8.5% as at December 31, 1997. The exchange rate of the naira remained stable (at N84 to the US dollar). Estimated growth rate in 1997 was 3.77%, a marked improvement on the 1.3% recorded in 1994, 2.2% in 1995 and 3.25% in 1996.

What the presentation did not say was that the growth rate of 3.77% fell far short of the 5.5% projection for 1997.

More statistics were rolled out: Capacity utilisarion increased from 32.5% to 33% in 1997. Yet the manufacturing sector, according to the government, recorded a decline from 1.02% in 1996 to 0.72% in 1997.

But statistics, as we all know, can be made to say anything. The reality is another story altogether.

For example, the first quarter allocations of the 1997 budget were not released till well into the middle of the year, while the second and third quarter allocations were only released at the rail end of the year.

As the Minister of Finance and the Petroleum Resources Minister publicly bickered over the release of funds, Nigeria's four refineries ground to a halt, unleashing a fuel scarcity unprecedented in the history of the country. And the government, which boasts of financial prudence, has been importing petroleum products for domestic use since June 1997.

The 1998 budget proclaimed many grand objectives among which were job creation, sustainable growth, expanded production, sustained fiscal discipline, improved social and economic infrastructure, and sustained transparency, accountability and comprehensiveness in the conduct of government. It has also promised privatisation of state-owned enterprises to improve their performances and efficiency.

But, once again reality intruded. By April 1998, Nigerian crude was selling at $13p/b, well below the $17p/b used as the budget bench mark. Domestic fuel crises persist in major Nigerian cities, crippling economic life as Nigerians spend most of their days at petrol queues. Racketeering by dealers and government task forces have aggravated the scarcity.

The inefficiency of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), has become a permanent crisis. Constant power cuts have slashed productivity both in the formal and informal sectors. The dearth of diesel to run generators compounds the problem.

Not only is there no hope that the economy can create new jobs, but thousands who were formally employed are now being laid off as industries feel the full brunt of inefficient public services.

Mr Bright Anokwuru, president of the National Union of Shop and Distributive Employees (NUDSE) said that 37,250 of his members have lost their jobs because of inconsistent government fiscal policies. The Federal government itself has been insistent about retrenching 150,000 civil servants from its workforce. It made this a condition for improving the welfare of its employees.

Lack of discipline

Despite brandishing fiscal discipline as one of its cardinal policies, the government's retention of a dual exchange rate continues to irk the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

NIGERIA ECONOMIC REVIEW Statistics and Other Lies
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.