‘Nigeria’s economic recovery needs stable, deliberate policies’ - THE NATION
• NES launches Lagos chapter
By Ibrahim Adam
Leading economists at the weekend called for stable, consistent and deep-rooted policies to re-engineer economy towards sustainable growth and development.
At the inauguration of the Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) at the University of Lagos at the weekend, economists and policy experts said there must be concerted efforts to diversify economy while providing a stable macroeconomic environment for businesses to grow.
The inauguration, which held at the Faculty of Social Science lecture theatre, University of Lagos (UNILAG), was graced by eminent scholars, economists, and students of various institutions who they observe COVID-19 protocol.
Chairman of the event and Director-General, West African Institute of Finance and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Dr. Baba Yusuf Musa said the inauguration was coming when the global economy and the economy have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and the decline in commodity prices.
Musa said the pandemic led to global uncertainties of prices of commodities decline, which resulted in revenue shock and increase in expenditure for Nigerians.
WAIFEM DG, who also represented the National President of the Nigerian Economic Society, Prof. Sarah Anyanwu, reiterated that the state of the economy is reversible with consistent macroeconomic and structural policies that mobilise resources, attract capital flow and boost labour productivity.
“This inauguration is coming when the global economy and the Nigerian economy have been severely affected by the dual shock of COVID-19 and the precipitous decline in commodity prices. The economy depends on crude oil alone as a source of income and with the advent of the pandemic, the prices of commodities decline and that resulted in revenue shock to the country.
“Therefore, Nigeria’s sustainability can be improved through aggressive tax and non-tax revenue collection and prudent debt management strategy. Policymakers must also maintain macroeconomic stability and re-engineer the economy for industrial and technological development and job creation.
“Economically, and commercially, Lagos State remains a magnet, both nationality and internationally, owing to its vibrant economy, both formal and informal, which ensures its self-sufficiency. This chapter of NES will also provide a stepping stone towards intellectual capacity which will benefit both the Federal and the state government in promoting economic development,” Musa said.
Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was represented by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development Services, University of Lagos, Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa, said it would only take experts in economics to reshape the economic situation of the country.
“At the point, the economy in Nigeria is not in its best shapes and when we have the experts who have devoted their lives to the study and practice of every aspect of economics, just like what is been done today. They will deliberate, make decisions, and create advance leadership that will crusade the economy of the state and the country,” Ogundipe said.
Dean, Faculty of Social Science, UNILAG, Prof. Olufunlayo Bammeke also added that the Lagos State chapter of NES will not just provide a platform for discussion of social-economic issues but proffer solutions to the problems facing the Nigerian economy.
Chairman, National Economic Society, Lagos Chapter, Prof. Wakeel Isola in his address, said the chapter will lay the foundation for meaningful academic and professional engagement between the Lagos State government and the NES Lagos Chapter on economic and social problems confronting the state.
Isola also appealed to Nigerians to disregard any economic group portraying themselves as “Chartered economist” when he said Nigerian Economic Society is the only recognised society in the country.