The blame game politics, devaluation of naira without considering its negative effects on the economy and the lives of Nigerians, concentration in the fight against corruption with little effort to revive the economy and policies that will have positive impact on Nigerians are signs that President Muhammadu Buhari ‘lacks the capacity to act expeditiously’, an emeritus Professor of Economics, Ademola Oyejide has said.
Oyejide who retired from the University of Ibadan, made this known on Wednesday in Ibadan while delivering a paper titled, “Overview of Nigeria’s recession” at a ‘Seminal on Macroeconomics of Recession in Nigeria’ organized by Distinguished Seminal Fellows (DSF) under the chairmanship of Emeritus Professor Akin Mabogunje.
The event according to Mabogunje was organized by eminent scholars who have retired and those who are still in the service to contribute their own quota based on their experiences in their chosen fields.
Mabogunje, however, urged the present administration to stop the blame game politics and focus on ways to revive the economy.
Oyejide while speaking insisted that despite the public outcry on the failure of the government to put all hands on deck to fulfill its promises, it has continued to put the blame on the past regimes for its failure to fix the nation.
“This government lacks the capacity to act expeditiously. It is either they were not prepared or they lack the personnel. In 2015 when they were campaigning, the APC was only interested to be in power without proper and definite agenda or blueprint,” he said.
The don while highlighting some of the steps to be taken to come out of the present recession informed that it will be better if Nigeria embrace the unicameral legislature with the abolition of bicameral legislature, calling the civil society organizations to wake up from their slumber and champion the movement for the re-engineering of the country.
Oyejide said the clamour for the abolition for the Senate in Senegal was moved by the CSOs and can also be done in Nigeria in order to reduce the cost of governance among others.
He said the increment of the National Assembly budget from N120b in 2016 budget to N150b in the 2017 budget was a clear indication that Nigeria spends large percent of its budget in maintaining political office holders.
“The National Assembly has increased its budget from 120 billion in 2016 budget to 150 billion in 2017, this means Nigeria is spending much of its budget in the servicing political office holders. There is no need for two houses of the National Assembly, only House of Representatives is enough, the Senate should be abolished to cut the cost of governance.
“The civil society in Nigeria, what are they doing, the CSOs in Senegal championed the abolition of the senate, it was done by CSOs.
Oyejide, however, called for the quick passage of the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) which has been in the National Assembly over some years, the bill he said will put an end to the acute age-long corruption in the petroleum sector.
Another professor of Economics, Akin Iwayemi in his paper “The Nigerian Recession and the Challenges if Industrialization” said for industrialization target to be meet, there is a need for industry technology and energy registry and database.
He said towards industrialization take off, there must be “develop of an industry technology and energy registry and database that track key technology players and technology development in the industry.
“Identify foreign partners with the technical and financial know-how to ensure collaboration and technology acquisition through strategic partnership and collaboration with local entrepreneurs and investors especially in agro-industrial and mineral value chains.
“Implement policies that encourage local private sector participation in agro-industrial value chain as part if the strategic intervention of the government and development partners to support sustainable industrial development.
“Promote transfer of skills and technology through the implementation of enabling education, labor and technology transfer policy strategies”.