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Ezekwesili: Nigeria in crisis yet APC, PDP arguing over WAEC certificate

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Obiageli Ezekwesili, presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), says the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are busy bickering over President Muhammadu Buhari’s West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate when the country is facing “fiscal emergency”.

In a statement on Saturday, Ezekwesili said Nigerians should be alarmed by a report from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that acknowledged a drop in foreign direct investments (FDI) and closure of two global bank offices, HSBC and UBS, in Nigeria.

The CBN, in a report on Friday, disclosed that HSBC and UBS, a Swiss private bank, have closed their representative offices in Nigeria.

However, the reason for the closure was not stated.

Ezekwesili said the decline in FDI is a pointer to the weakening investor confidence in Nigeria’s macroeconomic policies and commitment to key structural reforms.

“The latest decline in the on FDI numbers ($1.7billion in the first half of 2017 compared to $1.2billion in 2018) signifies the weak confidence of foreign investors in the macroeconomic policies and commitment to key structural reforms in power, oil, gas and minerals sector of the administration,” she said.

“The country faces a fiscal crisis. It scarcely has the capacity to fund Capex out of revenues other than through borrowing. Problem is that debts (local and foreign) have risen, taking up with it, debt servicing which is now 69 per cent of revenue.

“And yet the #APCPDP is having a debate over WAEC certificate. WAEC certificate? Do these people understand how serious and urgent Nigeria’s crisis is now?”

She noted that the ACPN had outlined critical steps on how to ensure reforms in the nation’s economic policies within its first 100 days in office (if the party wins the presidential election in 2019).

She said the country could no longer afford to be governed by people who do not have an understanding of what it takes to build the economy.

“Our campaign has outlined critical steps as part of our State of Emergency on the Economy within our first 100 days in office, ensuring confidence-boosting economic policy reforms in key sectors that signal positively to the private sector,” she said.

“We can no longer afford to be led by those who have no understanding of building economies, creating wealth for the majority and stimulating productivity, competitiveness and opportunity.

“Nigerians should wake up and see what we are facing. These men running for office don’t get it, and this is an emergency.”

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