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Finance experts and economists warn against policy changes without underlining fundamentals

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Incessant changes in the country’s fiscal and monetary policies by the federal government without factoring into it the need for increased local production will only continue to worsen Nigeria’s Economy, according to panelists consisting of finance experts and economists at the Boiling Point Arena monthly discourse.

The panelists warned that the economy might collapse unless desperate efforts are made to intentionally increase local production with more exports.

The panelists, Biodun Adedipe, Kehinde Sogunle, and Paul Alaje, took turns canvassing their submissions in the two-hour online interview discourse, which took place via Google Meet and transmitted live by an Abeokuta-based radio station, Sweet 107.1FM.

The topic of discourse was The Current State of Nigeria’s Economy: Can Nigerians Breathe and Survive”.

Speaking on how Nigeria got into its present economic state, an economist, Paul Alaje, noted that the successive economic policies of various governments over the past years were what brought the country to its current economic downturn.

Alaje said, “Nigerians are being punished for our economic sins. We got here because of the wrong choices; we got to this point because many of our people are not asking questions and are thinking that things will soon get better.

“We need to make correct economic decisions for us to be forgiven”. Nigeria should make it a policy that some of the things we are importing should be produced. We have to multiply our exports. There is no two-way street to it.

“What Nigeria needs is a structural solution, not a financial solution. These policies should go beyond monetary ones. Our economic decisions are not just not right, making policies that further devalue our naira and the so-called Unification.”

Another speaker, the erstwhile Finance Commissioner in Ogun State, Kehinde Sogunle submitted that Nigerians must study community economics, which means engaging in government to create strategies for penetrating the international market.

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He noted: “The logic is that unless we approach the fundamental, which is increasing our local production and creating trade balance, all this monetary approach will not work.

“All that government is doing now is playing a global economic game that we can’t play with them. It will always fail. Price is a function of demand and supply.

“First of all, we need to moderate our tastes as Nigerians. There are no local tastes anymore; everything is foreign, and all this is putting a lot of pressure on our taste. Unless we can change our style of consumption, Food is number one. Clothing is number two. If you check what people are wearing and eating, You will be alarmed.”

Speaking on the way out, Sogunle said what has further compounded our problem as a nation is the absence of thinkers who should do convergence, giving the realities and forging directions.

On his part, Adedipe, an Investment Banker and Financial Consultant, while aligning with Sogunle, opined that the different communities and local government areas will need to have policy anchors that they will be noted for.

“We will need to have policy anchors and build different economic clusters in different communities, thereby creating jobs. Each community or local government must have something they are adding economically. This is what will aggregate for the state and the country at large.” he argued.

Adedipe also called for a global strategy that will factor Nigeria’s competitiveness in areas of comparative advantage based on its peculiar natural endowments.

The interview discourse was chaired by a traditional ruler, the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Saka Matemilola, who enjoined eminent financial experts to pool their ideas together and collectively suggest to the government sound economic policies capable of bringing Nigeria out of the woods.

Speaking while delivering a vote of thanks, the Initiator and Convener of Boiling Point Arena, Ayo Arowojolu emphasized that the task of revamping the country’s economy is a task for all and should not be left alone to the government.

(omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138

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