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Nigeria Faces Dire Economic Challenges: Onuoha, Awoyemi Criticize Govt’s Spending Habits

In a recent episode of the Boiling Point Arena, two distinguished finance experts, Mr. Ugo Onuoha and Mr. Olufemi Awoyemi, voiced their concerns over Nigeria’s current economic trajectory, highlighting issues such as bloated governance costs, fiscal crises, and a disconnect between monetary policies. 

The experts, both Guest Speakers on the popular interview platform, expressed shared dismay over what they see as a lack of visionary leadership.

Mr. Ugo Onuoha, a development expert and former Managing Director/Editor-in-chief of Champion Newspapers, initiated the discussion by attributing Nigeria’s challenges to a dearth of visionary leaders. 

According to him, the country’s progress has been hindered by successive political leaders who failed to plan for the future, resulting in a stunted development.

Supporting this viewpoint, Mr. Olufemi Awoyemi, Chairman/CEO of Proshare, decried Nigeria’s “spending problem built around institutionalized indiscipline.”

 Awoyemi particularly pointed to the extravagant lifestyles of political office holders, funded by public resources, as a glaring example of profligacy in governance.

The Boiling Point Arena, hosted by Dr. Ayo Arowojolu, a seasoned media professional, delved into the topic of “Dismantling Profligacy in our Governance System and How to Chart the Path to Nigeria’s Economic Revival.” 

The two Discussants, Onuoha and Awoyemi, emphasized the need for strategic planning and diversification of the economy.

Onuoha highlighted the failure to manage excess income during the oil boom, citing a lack of strategic vision among leaders.

 Despite successive administrations talking about diversifying the economy, Nigeria remains heavily dependent on crude oil revenue. 

Onuoha expressed skepticism about the country moving in the right direction in terms of reducing reliance on oil.

Awoyemi focused on legislative and executive spending, as well as the country’s rising debt, as key contributors to the economic challenges.

 He criticized the high salaries, allowances, and unaccounted security votes, citing examples like the extravagant procurement of vehicles for lawmakers, which drew public criticism.

In addressing Nigeria’s growing external debts, Awoyemi argued that the increased borrowing, primarily for recurrent expenditure rather than capital projects, has strained the economy, leading to high inflation rates and the devaluation of the Naira.

The keynote speaker, Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Prof Saka Matemilola, who chaired the interview discourse, urged Nigerians not to lose hope, emphasizing the collective effort needed for the imminent transformation of Nigeria. 

 

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