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Vol 40 No 17

Published 27th August 1999


Nigeria

Clearly confusing

Three months on, the economic policy of General Olusegun Obasanjo's government remains opaque. While the price of oil, which at US$20 a barrel is nearly twice that of the beginning of the year, should be a tonic, there are fears it might undermine the impetus for economic reform. This is especially true among Obasanjo's old-style cabinet members, who spent their formative years in an era of African nationalism and state ownership. Both Obasanjo and Finance Minister Adamu Ciroma, a tested northern politician and former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, blow hot and cold on reform. A potential champion of reform is Philip Asiodu, ex-Petroleum Minister and now Economic Advisor at the presidency, who occupies the offices of the vacant Planning Ministry. The Minister for Economic Matters at the presidency, Vincent Ogbulafor, hasn't yet got an office.

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