Nigeria, its economic performance – Uncertain performance
Nigeria, just how well is the Economy performing? In the absence of a holistic report articulating the economic performance of Nigeria, no one could claim to know. There are only a lot of partial views on different aspects of the economy being expressed by different government officials. Little surprise that there will be controversies at the highest policy levels about whether the Nigerian economy is weak or strong. Nigeria needs to show a stronger sense of responsibility in reforming aspects of its economic policy machinery like provision of required data, and periodic articulation of the main issues arising from the data in formal official economic reports. But more importantly, since the President and the National Assembly are the ones with the electoral mandate to manage the national economy, and unelected heads of economic agencies are their appointees, the President and the National Assembly must accept direct responsibility for policy conception and design, and leave implementation to unelected appointees in charge of economic policy agencies, but hold the appointees accountable for the tasks they are appointed to carry out.
Economic policy is about measuring and influencing economic outcomes. For us to be able to act on economic information, data readings must be available in a timely fashion. Late readings will at best mean no action is taken, or at worst that wrong actions are taken. Timely readings will stimulate discussions that will inform meaningful policy actions. The reality in Nigeria is that annual data updates, yearbooks and fact-books needed to undertake holistic assessments can no longer be relied upon to arrive in time to be meaningful inputs into forward looking assessments of the performance of the economy. Data providing agencies generally feel no responsibility to publish data updates on any due date. The 2012 edition of the Annual Report of the Central Bank of Nigeria which is normally published by the end of June each year is yet to be published in October 2013 […]