Kalu Idika Kalu, Nigeria’s two-time finance minister and the respected economist has taking a swipe at the managers of the economy, saying the country’s economic management is bereft of real action or inspiring targets.
Besides, Kalu said that its activities are shrouded in secrecy, long phrases and devoid of a solid conceptual framework to guarantee success.
In particular, he said there can be no praise singing about an expensive Eurobond of only $1bn for an economy the size of Nigeria’s, when we should be talking of a facility in the region of $25bn, possibly from the International Monetary Fund at near zero interest cost.
Kalu who had an eventful career at the World Bank as well as in Nigeria as finance minister between 1985 and 1986 under ex-military head of state, Ibrahim Babangida, and between 1993 and 1994 under military dictator, Sani Abacha, is however unimpressed with the economic management under this government, especially for the government’s lack of ambitious targets and failure to address more crucial issues like setting a conceptual framework for managing the country’s exchange rate mechanism.
“I cannot say by merely looking at the plan that I am satisfied; not until I see a more professionally determined stance on some key issues,” Kalu said in an interview on CNBC today, with the chaotic foreign exchange market in mind.
These ‘issues’ according to Kalu, range from better management of the foreign exchange rate to allowing the market determine the cost of local and foreign investments.
The naira’s hard currency peg against the dollar has drawn widespread criticism and opened the door to round-tripping, according to sources familiar with the matter.