THE Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, have 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.
They spoke in Lagos during The Point Newspaper’s Public Presentation and First Annual Conference on Economic Regeneration, weekend.
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 potentialities lying waste due to over-reliance on oil, which he said had made the economy weak.
“SMEs, not government, not big corporations, hold the key to solving our unemployment problems, raising the GDP, diversifying the economy and promoting production and manufacturing in Nigeria,” he said.
He, however, said that the country had yet to fully harness its economic potentials due to the absence of adequate and deliberate interventions that could support SME development and growth.