The 6th in the series of the Benson Idahosa University Inaugural lecture titled “Economic System Engineering, Poverty, Unemployment, and Under-development: A Quest for Solution and Imperatives for Developing the Nigeria Economy” was recently delivered by a Professor of Resource Economics, Quantitative Techniques and Economic Planning from the Department of Economics, Banking and Finance, Benson Idahosa University, Professor Rex Oforitse Aruofor.
Delivering his lecture, he said his model predicted the recession, and it was found that to reverse the recession in 2015, it would have been necessary to increase the prime lending rate by 1.7percent and systematically adjust it to 29.42percent by 2018 in order to attract foreign investors who have the technology that the economy needed so badly.
According to him, the country should also have borrowed additional $30.5billion in 2015 which will increase to $56.4 billion by 2018 in order to develop infrastructure, agriculture, industry and services.
The University Don highlighted that the planning and management of the Nigerian economy has been defective which resulted to high incidence of poverty, ignorance , disease, squalor, poor diet, poor shelter, political instability, inflation, and bankruptcy.
The Professor noted that for the nation to witness fast growth and adequate revival in its financial system, the federal government should inject more funds into agriculture.
Prof. Aruofor inferred that, Nigerian statistical agencies should endeavor to be up to date with statistical data. He further buttressed the need for the nation to return to development planning using rational or scientific planning methods, a paradigm he mentioned that has not occurred in about thirty years. His recommendations to facelift the economy also include completing the Ajaokuta iron and steel mill.
The Vice-Chancellor of Benson Idahosa University, Prof. Ernest Izevbigie in his remark expressed optimism that the Nigeria economy was in the right direction with the intervention of the CBN to inject more dollars into the forex market.
Prior to joining the Department of Economics in May 2003, Professor Aruofor worked at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Environment as Head of Budget and Forest Sector Planning Section. The erudite Scholar has published widely with fifty one publications to his credit in national and international high impact journals.