As things are with the economy, the problem is not that experts are not proffering solutions to get out of the crisis. Every day and at different fora, advises are coming on how to get out of economic recession but it is not clear if the drivers of the economy are taking the recommendations serious.
Recently, at The Point Newspaper’s Public Presentation and First Annual Conference on Economic Regeneration, the economic crisis was given the treatment it deserved. The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, all called on policy makers to focus on issues that led Nigeria to economic recession with a view to tackling the problem. They also listed conditions necessary to exit recession and avoid future chaos.
Sanusi, who was the special guest of honour, blamed the current economic recession on decades of policy failures, which had become a clog in the wheel of Nigeria’s economic development. He said this just as Saraki and Aregbesola cautioned Nigerians against over-dependence on foreign products at the expense of locally made goods. The Emir noted: “We have had decades of policy failure. The last decade was Africa’s miracle decade because we moved from a continent that was known for hunger and war to a decade where people were seen as a land of opportunities and investments.” Sanusi, therefore, advised the Federal Government to take a decisive step on the type of economy it would want to run.
Aregbesola, in his speech, described the theme of the annual lecture series, “What is the Economics of Change?” as, “a play on word that indirectly put to task the campaign mantra of the ruling All Progressives Congress, which promised Nigerians a change for the better during last year’s election campaign.” He said a decline in the price of crude in the international market had always been the cause of the recession the country had fallen into at different periods.
Also speaking on the occasion, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the time had come for the country to diversify, stressing that it was no longer fashionable to run a monolithic economy. Saraki, who was represented at the event by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking and Finance, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, said his experience at a recent trade exhibition had made it clear that there were potentials wasting away due to over-reliance on oil, which he said had made the economy weak.
Lagos fiery Pastor, Tunde Bakare, who chaired the event, was quick to point out that the cornerstone principles of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration are anti-corruption, security and diversification of the economy, driven by the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP). He said he was particularly gladdened by the competence of the discussants converged at the event and confident that actionable solutions would emanate from their interactions.
For the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, Yemi Kolapo, and his team, the anniversary was another opportunity to tell the world that they were ready for business.
Kolapo said they were happy to have made it through the first year with measured but assured steps, despite the enormously challenged economy, where the media industry is also already saturated.
“When we ventured into the media business sometime last year, the decision was buoyed by years of aspiration to create a media enterprise with an over-arching objective of practising a completely different brand of journalism, anchored on integrity and good ethics in the pursuit of good governance and a better Nigeria,”
Kolapo said her organisation thus set out to lay the foundation with a collection of some of the best hands in the industry, producing distinctive, exclusive and often times, investigative reports that either provided first-hand information on happenings within the society or touched on the ills that continually draw Nigeria back as a nation – corruption, government and regulatory failures or outright abuses of persons or institutional rights.