On Sunday, Economic experts and groups advised the Nigerian government to lessen the cost of governance and increase production.
The experts; a professor of political economy and management expert, Pat Utomi, the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, said this while commenting on Nigeria’s recent economic recession.
They asked the federal government to cut tax for the poor and modify the economy, adding that the government must earn the trust of its citizens in modifying the economy.
On Saturday, despite the rising debt profile, inflation and unemployment in Nigeria, the nation entered its second recession in five years as official statistics showed that the economy diminished again in the third quarter of this year.
According to the World Bank, 2020 recession is the worst in 36 years as the data specified that the country’s Gross Domestic Product dropped by 10.92 per cent in 1983 and 1.2 per cent in 1984.
Also, in the report of the National Bureau of Statistics for third quarter of 2020, it said the GDP, the broadest measure of economic prosperity, fell by 3.62 per cent in the three months up till September.
Pat Utomi said government must match its words with its action.
He said, “The starting point of any policy initiative is rebuilding trust of the people. The cost of governance in Nigeria has been growing for years. It got worst recently.
“Secondly, it is important that Nigeria moves from consumption to production. Part of the problems in Nigeria is that we are oriented to consuming what we do not produce. Nigeria’s economy does not produce. Public policies are geared towards sharing revenue than production.
“The fact that the environment for production is made hostile by government policies and weaker institutions has not made it any easier. We have to do everything to avoid going the way of Venezuela (which is currently experiencing total economic collapse and hyperinflation).
“We need people who are champions of production to be inspired and encouraged.”
He however, advised the government to invest in youths and stop funding old business leaders.
In order for the government to save the country from its recession and future economic turmoil, the President of the ACCI, Adetokunbo Kayode, said the government must take intelligent decisions.
Kayode also informed the government to take practical steps to diversify the economy and stop crude oil dependence and focus.
He said, “Nigeria will come out of this recession but the unfortunate thing is that we will go back into it again. So, it is an in-and-out thing unless we learn lessons. We have to learn serious economic lessons and take some decisions.
“One, we must diversify the economy. The government has been saying that it wants to do it, but it is just on paper. And it is simple to do this; you must produce what you need.
“This is so that you can reduce your imports. Government should develop industrial parks in partnership with private sector players. Government seems not to have learnt its lesson from the recent #EndSARS protest.
“We have too many people on the streets and the street is more powerful than the office. The guys in office started the #EndSARS but they were over-powered by street boys.”