Dear Mr. Acting President, what's your gameplan? Please help this young Nigerian mind understand a few issues that discourage me about the future of my beloved country:
· I understand that the flexibility of the exchange rate is a key shock absorber for the economy when foreign reserves are declining. Since the national budget depends heavily on a benchmark oil price, I am curious to know what benchmark oil price was used to set the 2010 budget considering the fact that oil prices have risen again. What are you doing to diversify our economy considering the global push for green energy and a declining oil reserve?
· The violence in the Niger Delta was quelled by an amnesty deal, and although tensions are rising again, it’s important for the government to ensure that the situation is resolved so that crude production capacity may increase. $6.3 billion in stolen oil and another $28 billion in shut in (deliberately not produced oil) obviously impacted the economic growth back in 2008. How will you deal with the rebellion and how will you ensure that the poor people of Delta (your native people) that provide our nation with such great wealth are not living in decrepit conditions?
· Electricity shortage is a major drain on the economy because of the $13.4 billion spent each year to power electricity generators. Privatization of the telecommunications industry proved successful and it is safe to assume that privatization of the power industry will yield positive results. Can you outline the steps you’ll take to resolve the electricity dilemma that demoralizes the Nigerian people? The manufacturing sector could obviously benefit from the cheap labor market but electricity will need to be consistent to entice investors and companies.
· Banking sector regulations need to be forward thinking to prevent similar scandals that involved artificially inflating the capital market (e.g. by lending money to people to buy bank stock). What financial and monetary reforms do you intend to pursue to ensure that Nigeria’s banking sector begins to flourish again? In 2005, Goldman Sachs suggested that Nigeria could become one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2025. At this rate, I need you to convince me that they were not crazy! Can I expect us to at least make the top 100? Why?
· The federal government should cooperate (not antagonize) with Lagos state to ensure that policies are beneficial for the state but not a hindrance to the overall national economic health. Being the commercial center of the country, success in Lagos has benefits to the entire nation. Neighboring states should also begin to capitalize on Lagos’ successes so as to develop their own economies and reduce overpopulation in Lagos. How are you going to develop other areas of the country? Lagos currently houses 60% of Nigeria’s industrial investment and commercial activity. What are they doing right that you can implement around the nation?