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Nigeria will remain in financial crisis, unless… -CBN Governor

Sanusi disclosed that the country’s economic performance was falling short of its potential, even though he said its GDP per capita had risen in recent…

Sanusi disclosed that the country’s economic performance was falling short of its potential, even though he said its GDP per capita had risen in recent years. He stressed that the only way the nation could improve its economic performance was to deal with issues of over-reliance on oil and sub-optimal management of oil revenue as well as the ability of the non-oil sector to productively absorb investment and debt.

He blamed both federal and state governments for the country’s ‘underperforming’ economy, saying, “Both the federal and state governments are exacerbating volatility with pro-cyclic fiscal policies,” just as he pointed out that the current financial crisis were a fallout “dramatic financialisation that should have been foreseen.”

While berating free-market economy which, he said, was adopted as a policy by successive Nigerian governments since the days of the Structural Adjustment Programme, the CBN boss declared, “There is a naïve belief that the market solves all problems, that rules and regulations are bad, that greed and profit maximization by a few, are the ultimate signs of success of an economy.” Sanusi added, however, that “The result is that in the last decade for example we have had consistent GDP growth, yet poverty and joblessness have been on the increase.”

Sanusi further stated that the adopted system had created a situation whereby a few individuals and corporations had amassed fantastic levels of wealth, while millions languish in poverty. Lamenting what has become of the nation’s stock market and banking sector, he further that while they were making huge profits, factories were closing down and workers were being laid off.

Equally, he described Nigeria’s attempt at privatization as a polite name for nepotism and cronyism, adding it was a conduit through which public assets were sold cheaply to politically connected persons.

“Those who were supposed to regulate operators, be they banks, listed companies, stock exchanges or telecoms companies, became themselves agents and protectors of those they were supposed to regulate, ”  he said.

“We need to carefully evaluate the most up-to-date evidence in developing economic policy, realising that in some cases, the best policy response will be radically different than the orthodoxy of just a few years ago. A more interventionist, directional economic policy stance should be adopted by Nigeria,” he suggested.

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