Nigeria’s economic woes will worsen if President Muhammadu Buhari fails to reduce the cost of governance and encourage productivity, experts warn.
The warnings came after Nigeria slid into its worst economic recession in over three decades.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its report for third quarter of 2020, said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic prosperity, fell by 3.62 per cent in the three months up till September. World Bank data indicated that the Nigeria’s GDP dropped by 10.92 per cent in 1983 and 1.2 per cent in 1984.
Experts say Buhari’s economic policy led Nigeria here and would make things gloomier if the government continues to tow the current path.
“The economy has been on autopilot; the managers of the economy have not manifested that they are primed for the job,” Economist and senior lecturer at Lagos Business School, Dr Bongo Adi, said on Sunday.
“We have not seen any proactive policies aimed at stimulating the economy; the government has always been reactive.”
Economist and politician Pat Utomi said the Buhari government must rebuild trust of the people. He asked the government to stop funding old business leaders and invest in younger ones who are not looking to exploit the system.
“The cost of governance in Nigeria has been growing for years. It got worst recently,” Utomi told Punch.
“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.”
Meanwhile, the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has told Nigerians to get ready for another recession should the Buhari government refuses to learn.
The President of the ACCI, Adetokunbo Kayode, 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.”