|Financial meltdown: AC blasts FG|
|Written by VANGUARD|
|Friday, 26 December 2008|
|ABUJA—THE Action Congress (AC) has challenged the Federal Government to make public its rescue plan for Nigeria’s economy as the global financial crisis bites harder. In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the government’s assurances that the global financial crisis will not adversely affect Nigeria’s economy is nothing but a web of lies.
The Governor of the Central Bank, the Minister of Finance and the President have continuously told Nigerians that the country’s economy is insulated from the global financial meltdown.
“But it is now clear to all that this assurance amounts to a sheer deceit, an intricate web of lies woven to give the people a false sense of hope and security. This is because, from all indications so far, the New Year will usher in a period of hardship for Nigerians. Jobs will be lost and businesses, especially small-scale ones, will be hard hit,’’ the party said.
It said the indices are there for all to see: Rising exchange and interest rates, crashing crude oil prices, downturn in the fortunes of the local capital market, loans (especially from the West) being recalled, credit lines withdrawn and investments cancelled.
AC said that manufacturers who took loans from the West due to a low interest rate are having the foreign loans recalled and the balance converted to naira loans with higher interest rates.
What this means is that prices of goods, especially those manufactured locally will rise and many jobs will be lost while imported goods will come in more expensive as a result of the higher exchange rate. How then can anyone say this global crisis will not affect Nigeria? In fact just as the West exported its prosperity to us, so will it export its austerity to us.
“The government should be sincere enough to tell Nigerians to brace up for the tough challenges ahead and to let them know what it is doing to reduce the effects of the impending storm.
“If, however, the government has no plan, it should also be free to inform Nigerians, and this will not surprise them. After all, a government that cannot manage prosperity should not be expected to do better when the times become tough.”