…As CBN says Power, interest rate, others slowed business in 2018***
The Director General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Rotimi Amaechi, has told Nigerians complaining about hunger in the land that he himself is hungry.
He said the opposition Peoples Democratic Party caused the hunger in the land by stealing money from the nation’s purse while in power.
Amaechi said this at the APC presidential campaign rally which was held in Bauchi on Saturday.
He urged Nigerians to demand that the PDP return the nation’s stolen money.
The former Rivers State governor also claimed that the opposition was broke and hungry.
He said that was why the party wanted to return to power by all means.
Amaechi said, “I was speaking to my friend from the other divide and he said you are hungry, I said ‘yes, if they did not steal the money they stole, you would have had enough food.’
“The money they stole is what is making me hungry. Tell them, to bring the money.
“The PDP stole $2bn to prosecute 2015 elections but we still defeated them. They are broke, they are hungry and they want to come back to steal.
“The PDP members know that they are broke and because of that, they are looking for cheap source of funds.
“When they say there is no food, they want to steal money and they cannot do that because the President has said that public money is not for any individual.”
The minister of transportation wondered what the PDP did with the money it got for 16 years when oil was $114 per barrel.
He claimed that when the PDP was in power, he could not sleep with his two eyes closed even in the Rivers State Government House allegedly because of security challenges.
He said the situation had changed under Buhari.
The National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, said President Muhammadu Buhari knew how to catch thieves “and that is why the thieves have all gone to the PDP but even if they go to the PDP, they must be arrested.”
In the meantime, business activities were slowed down by an insufficient power supply, high-interest rates and other challenges in 2018 financial period.
This was disclosed in the ‘monthly business expectations survey report’ by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Statistics Department in December 2018.
The CBN, in the report, stated that “firms identified insufficient power supply, high-interest rates, unfavourable economic climate, financial problems, unclear economic laws, unfavourable political climate, and insufficient demand as the major factors constraining business activity in the current month.”
It, however, added that the respondent firms expected the naira to appreciate, and inflation and borrowing rates to rise in January 2019.
The highlights of the outcome of the business expectations survey in December 2018 also showed that respondent firms expressed more optimism on the macroeconomy in December 2018.
It stated that respondents’ outlook on the volume of the total order, business activity and financial conditions (working capital) were positive during the review period, and more optimistic when compared with the previous month.
The December survey was carried out from December 10 to 14, 2018, with a sample size of 1,050 businesses nationwide.
A response rate of 98.6 per cent was achieved, and the sample covered the services, industry, wholesale/retail trade, and construction sectors.
The respondent firms were made up of small, medium and large organisations covering both import- and export-oriented businesses.
Respondents’ outlook on the volume of total order and business activity in December 2018 remained positive, as the index stood at 22.9 and 22.7 points, respectively when compared to 17.4 and 18.7 points, respectively recorded in the previous month.
Equally, respondents’ outlook on financial conditions (working capital) and average capacity utilisation improved as the indices stood at 21.4 and 25.5 index points, when compared with the 13.0 and 20.8 points, respectively recorded in November 2018.
Respondents were relatively more optimistic about the access to credit in the review month, with an index of 2.2 points.
All sectors except the construction sector expressed optimism on own operations in December 2018.
Respondents from the construction sector expressed comparatively less optimism on own operations in the review month with an index of 0.0 points, when compared with the 0.1 points reported in November 2018.