Businesses, Financial Markets Hold Breath as Jonathan Announces National Conference

President Jonathan (pleasantly) surprised many of his compatriots and wrong-footed several others by his announcement on October 1 of plans to convene a national conference or dialogue to discuss fundamental issues affecting the country”, said Opeyemi Agbaje of RTC Advisory Services Limited in his Business and Economic Review.
Whether the announcement has right-footed or wrong-footed many, the concern now is what happens to the Nigerian economy in all these scheming.
For Agbaje, whatever the motives of the president, he believes Nigeria requires a fundamental re-ordering and restructuring which current democratic structures may not be able to accomplish.
In fact, the move reveals that Jonathan may be reaching some accommodation with the old South-West ‘Afenifere’ establishment whose leading member, Senator Femi Okurounmu was named the committee chair.
Bismarck Rewane, chief executive officer of Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited thinks, the new embrace of the Sovereign National Conference concept is another tactical move that will be stuck where it’s standing.
 But some others believe that some no go areas like what is the true census figure of Nigeria will be addressed and laid to rest with such national dialogue.
 “No one knows how many Nigerians there are – and the authorities are too afraid to find out”. This was how BBC began one of its discussions on population census of Nigeria.​
 Many schools of thoughts believe that, one of the problems plaguing the Nigeria economy is that of planning, occasioned by lack of correct and consistent data.
 

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