Economist magazine lampoons Buhari’s economic policies, applauds anti-graft war

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President Muhammadu Buhari

The Economist magazine has again picked holes in the economic policies of the President Muhammau Buhari administration, saying the president is replicating what he has done 30 year ago as Nigeria’s military ruler.

In what appears as apparent reaction to calls for the devaluation of naira, President Buhari announced earlier today in Kenya that his government would not devalue the nation’s currency.

But in two separate reports it published on its website today, the magazine said the government’s way of fending for the economic indexes is unhealthy and would only lead to failure.

One of the two pieces is titled “Hope the naira falls” and published under the “Leaders” magazine. The other one, entitled “Nigeria’s economy: Crude tactics” featured under the “Middle east and Africa” section.

The influential magazine recalled its endorsement of President Buhari over the then president, Goodluck Jonathan, in the run-up to the 2015 elections, describing Jonathan as “woeful”.

Citing examples with the nation’s central bank’s insistence on pegging the naira at between N197 and N199 to a dollar, at a time the currency trades for over N300, and the arbitrary ban on exports as well as restrictions on use of dollar, the magazine said the policies cannot salvage the economic realities of the time.

The Economist however applauded the administration’s effort in tackling corruption as well as the steps the government takes in containing the Boko Haram insurrection.

“Mr Buhari’s tenure has in some ways been impressive. He has restored a semblance of security to swathes of northern Nigeria that were overrun by schoolgirl-abducting jihadists. He has won some early battles against corruption. Some of his economic policies are sound, too,” the magazine wrote.

The magazine also thumbed up the government’s scrapping of fuel subsidy, arguing that devaluation of the naira is another essential policy that has to be implemented to adjust the currency along its realistic value.

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