26 August 2016, Kaduna — President Muhammadu Buhari has not come to terms with the economic realities of the day, as he has failed to combat economic challenges confronting the nation. This was the assertion of the former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Professor Charles Soludo, who said the President’s economic policies, since he took over last year, were still based on campaign promises.
Soludo spoke, Thursday, in Kaduna at the Progressive Governors Forum’s 4th Progressive Governance Lecture series with the theme Building the Economy of States: Challenges of Developing Inclusively-Sustainable Growth. According to him, the country was dealing with political, economic and social shocks. He said: “Nigeria is facing unprecedented and tremendous political and economic challenges with global and local dynamics. “Regardless of these challenges, opportunities and possibilities abound if we address some fundamental issues. The key to achieving this is to have a development plan that is anchored on realising inclusive and sustainable growth. “Inclusive and sustainable growth cannot be achieved without conscious efforts to deconstruct the dynasties of poverty and maximise states and Nigeria’s comparative and competitive advantage. “Nigeria is not secured and can be made politically sustainable through the de-strangulation of the hold of the Federal Government over states. “I, therefore, recommend the restructuring of the economy from consumption-driven to production-based and consistency in micro economic policies. “Encouraging fiscal federalism in ways that allow states to have greater control of their resources, evolution of a master plan for mass export-oriented industrialisation that answers the economic questions and realities of today. He called on “APC states to develop a peer review mechanism to track, measure and share knowledge, which will distinguish APC states from non-APC states.”
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who was also in attendance, said: “One of the major problems is with our ability to do things. Nigeria is not a place where there is a shortage of ideas or shortage of intentions. The issue really is getting things done.” The Vice President said some of the problems may not be resolved within months or a few years, “but we are called upon at this time in history to make a difference. And I believe that the times call for creativity, innovation, but more importantly these times call for depending on each other and looking at each other for a solution. “We cannot operate in silos; we must be able to look at each other for development. I think the solution lies in what is going on in several different states.”
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, in his remarks, said: “Nigeria is facing an unprecedented economic crisis, most of it arising from circumstances of the present and of the past. “The worst job in Nigeria today is to be a state governor because we have to deal with inherited problems, which we have a duty to solve. We need a fundamental shift from the ways things were being done in the past.”
*Luka Binniyat – Vanguard