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Nigeria’s Economy Must Be Freed From Oligarch’s Interest, Says Rewane



By Sola Omoniyi, Lagos

Renowned economist, Bismark Rewane, says for the Nigerian economy to bounce back with a strong currency, the government must free it from the interest of a few rich people.

He said the naira would be appreciated again but added that this might not happen until the early parts of 2024.

Rewane, who spoke to Newsmen on Monday, said that the government must allow the market to determine pricing.

He noted that the palliatives introduced by the Federal Government in the wake of the removal of fuel subsidies won’t address the fundamental issues affecting the economy but only a temporary measure.

“You got to believe in the reform economics, if you don’t believe in it then you can’t do anything about it. Secondly, you have to stop state capture, you can’t have oligarchs and barriers to entry. So, this economy must be freed from the oligarch’s interest. An oligarch interest means state capture, shifting state resources to private pockets and leading to inefficiencies.

“You must allow the market to determine pricing. By reducing subsidies on petroleum products, and reducing subsidies in exchange rates, those monies shift to the government. So, how is the government spending the money coming their way?

“In all fairness, the word subsidy means temporally relieve, it doesn’t address the fundamental issue, the fundamental issue is that there must be growth and there must be increase in productivity,” Rewane said.

According to the economist, Nigeria needs to spend big on projects that increase productivity, block leakages, encourage people to invest, and ensure that the interest rate is close to the rate of inflation so that there will be equilibrium.

He sees signs of the economy bouncing back but maintains that the government also needs to come clean and be straightforward with the true position of things at the moment.