You cannot fix Nigerian Economy without first fixing the Politics
Nigeria has had few of Africa’s best economists run its economy yet the economic problems won’t go away. We have now officially entered recession. Why?
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala was an asset, a world class economic asset. She did what she knew was appropriate and best for the country. Her policies did not produce the right results. Something must be wrong; oh! corruption. Corruption is the reason why the policies aren’t working. So she thought.
During her working experience with Obasanjo, a think tank was established to tackle corruption. Among the players in that think tank were Oby Ezekwesili and Nasir El Rufai. How can we tackle corruption in Nigeria? They came up with a solution; several solutions actually. In fighting procurement corruption, they came up with the establishment of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP). In fighting 419 and other administrative frauds, they came up with ICPC and EFCC. They saved billions of Naira in the fight against corruption but yet the real issues persisted; lack of government presence at the locality level, corruption took a new shape and development eluded the people. Something is fundamentally wrong with Nigeria and economists are not trained to see such problems.
During her second coming with Goodluck Jonathan, she introduced a new technology to tackle ghost workers corruption and I am sure she is part of the brain behind BVN and TSA. She and a host of other economists did all these but yet Nigeria’s problem got more complicated. What the hell is wrong with Nigeria? She must be asking… economists must be asking…
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo did all she could but like most economists, she was ignorant of a fundamental structural problem which was obviously responsible for the failures of her policies.
This structural problem is simple; You cannot fix the economy without first fixing the politics. A lot of economists do not know this.
Then came another economist in the name of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Sanusi did not have to deal with Nigeria as a whole, he had the CBN and the banking sector to deal with. After a careful study of the CBN and the banking sector, Sanusi came up with a plan; the Nigerian banking sector was soaked in corruption and was at the verge of collapsing and was in urgent need to a solution. Sanusi had a plan; there has to be some sort of restructuring. It was tough, dangerous but necessary. Sanusi had the guts and the will. To cut long story. Sanusi succeeded in restructuring the Nigerian Banking sector; some banks died and some banks merged but at the end, the banking sector came out stronger. Some bank owners even went to jail. Today, Nigerian banks are among the top 100 brands in the world. Thanks to Sanusi’s will and doggedness to restructure the banking sector.
Emir Sanusi is one of the few (if not the only) Nigerian economist who understands the need to restructure Nigeria into a true federal state. He is one of the few economists who while connected to the central command system still called for a restructured Nigeria. He has remained consistent in this regard. I consider him as a better economist than Dr. Ngozi Okonjo.
Today, President Buhari has come up with his own economic team and I see them making the same mistake that we have made in the past.
There is no economic solution to Nigeria’s problems. YOU CANNOT FIX THE ECONOMY WITHOUT FIRST FIXING THE POLITICS. The politics is the sub-structure, every other thing is built upon it. If this sub-structure is faulty, every other thing becomes faulty. Its a simple and common logic.
I believe true federalism will fix Nigeria. I believe we cannot fix the economy without first fixing our politics. I believe that under our present skewed system, the more we think things are changing, the more things are actually remaining the same.
I believe in a restructured Nigeria.
President Buhari needs to understand this so that he will not be overwhelmed by the criminality of the present skewed system, just like the leaders before him.