An economist, Prof. Joseph Odama, has advised the Federal Government to cut excess expenditure, as part of the measures to reflate the economy. Odama, a lecturer at the Department of Economics, University of Abuja, gave this advice in Abuja, on Wednesday, in an interview with newsmen.
He said that the first thing the government needed to do in addressing the present economic recession was to reduce excess spending in governance.
“The government needs to look at where it can make savings and save some money to fund development projects. “For example, the government needs to curb excess spending in the National Assembly and in the executive arm of government because there is so much wastage. “ What we are carrying in terms of administration of running the country is too high and that is where our problem is.
“We don’t need 449 members in the National Assembly, we don’t need 36 ministers, we don’t need bicameral legislature, even with the best of intention”.
According to him, the constitution itself needs to be restructured to enhance good governance. He also advised the government to address corruption and the issue of delay in budget implementation, as part of the measures to aid economic recovery. Odama said that there was no way government could get the money needed for improved infrastructure without enforcing discipline in spending.
“The issue of delay in budget implementation is also contributing to the economic problem. How much of the budget has been implemented. The important thing is to cut excess spending,’’ he said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had predicted that the Nigeria’s economy would probably contract by 1.8 per cent in 2016.
According to the IMF, the Nigerian economy will now grow at a much slower pace than that of South Africa which is expected to grow at 0.1 per cent in 2016. The IMF also reported that the economy would contract for the first time in more than two decades, as it adjusted to foreign-currency shortages, lower power generation and weaker investors’ confidence.