The continuing slide in oil prices to below $50 a barrel may necessitate a crafting of another ‘realistic’ budget by the government, even as value on investment in the country particularly stocks, embark on a new shrinking trip.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange market on Monday, 5th January, shrank by 2.09 points, preparatory to further shrinking after election, even as the DOW plunges by nearly 330 points according to Market News Summary.
The Nigerian Market closed last year with a loss of about N3 trillion even though most investors aptly blamed it on the fear of the unknown, as they felt the political climate was to opaque for a careless flow of their fortune.
With crude oil now below $50 a barrel and with most industry watchers still predicting that the Armageddon is finally around the corner, opinions are growing that except the government becomes more proactive, especially in the protection of the citizens and their investments, a new platform for negative campaigns may be unwittingly provided for the opposition.
“Look, a hungry man would be ready to listen to anyone he believes is in sympathy with him. That is why government must start thinking now of what to do; not just what to say”, observed a shipping guru, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stressing the need for President Jonathan to either change his Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, or urgently come up with programs beyond any further punishment of the poor masses.
Another analyst, Mr. Kayode Olabusoye while speaking on same issue of falling oil prices, however noted that while the individual stock owners may be whining, they should also start imagining the huge negative effect the development is already costing the big oil companies, which he calculated to be in the neighbourhood of $40 billion.
Presently, it is not unlikely, however that government is still bidding its time, coldly calculating what its real major protective move will be. Or merely, concentrating all energy first on winning a re-election, before confronting the issue of oil slide and its multiplier effects on the country and the citizens.