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EXPERTS FAULT GOVERNMENT’S APPROACH TO RESOLVING ECONOMIC DOWNTURN

(Last Updated On: March 1, 2017)

 

By GBENGA GBELEE

 

 

For Nigeria to wiggle its way out of the current economic recession and its daunting impact on the

teeming population, Economists and Development experts have again harped on the need for the

federal government to formulate workable policies which would add value to, and build confidence in

country’s local manufacturing industry.

The experts also advocated strong political will which would strengthen government institutions and

protect National resources from being squandered.

These were part of the positions advocated today by a management expert; Professor Patrick Utomi

and a Financial Management Consultant; Dr. Biodun Ogundipe who were lead speakers at the 1 st

Quarterly Breakfast Meeting of the Nigeria- Vietman Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the

year which held at the Golden gate restaurant, Kingsway road in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Theme for the event was “Reflections on 2017 Economic Possibilities and Prospects”, with delegates

from the Chamber of Commerce, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Association of

Nigeria (SMEDAN), Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, the Federal Road Safety

Commission(FRSC), the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Judges from the Federal High Court and

other relevant organisations.

Prof Pat Utomi’s presentation centred on a review of Nigeria’s journey into the present economic

decline, the present challenges, the lessons learnt and the suggestive ways out; while Dr Biodun

Adedipe spoke on the inevitability of a change in the consumption pattern of Nigerians to enhance

local capacity and promote the “Made in Nigeria” agenda.

Prof. Utomi who recalled the sudden upsurge in the price of crude oil in the 1980s identified the

current recession as self- inflicted, he said Nigeria is presently suffering the consequences of the

mismanagements of past decades and re-echoed his earlier advocacy for funds accruing from oil to be

treated like a windfall which should be harnessed and invested for the future.

The economic expert and one time presidential aspirant said as an agenda which should be pursued to

prevent a reoccurrence of the present National economic downturn, Nigeria’s budget should

henceforth be planned on oil funds not exceeding 40 dollar per barrel irrespective of the global crude

price.

Prof Utomi recommended further that oil funds accruing between 41 and 70 dollar per barrel should

be set aside as Stabilisation Funds while funds above 70 dollars should go into a Sovereign Wealth

Fund.

The Lagos Business School teacher and founder of the Centre of Values in Leadership stated

emphatically that leadership is not all about infrastructure development but how best to affect culture,

ensure value reorientation and best practice in resource management for National development.

Dr Biodun Adedipe in his own presentation said Nigeria’s current recession dates back to 2014

anchoring it on the monolithic economy, rigidity of government in policy formulation and

implementation, resource leakages and inefficiency in service delivery in the Nigerian system.