It was an ambience of intellectualism and aura as the University of Nigeria Nsukka, economics department was suffused with members of the institution’s governing board, lecturers, staffs and students who thronged out en-masse to witness what could be best described as a gathering of titans. The programme could not have come at a more appropriate time, as it came amid the country’s growing debate on recession and pragmatic steps to be taken to reverse the dwindling fortunes of our economy.
Prominent among the wide array of speakers were the Governor of the central Bank Of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefelie, Hon. Ferdinand Dozie Nwankwo (member representing Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia federal constituency in the House of Representatives). The self effacing lawmaker, Hon. Dozie Nwankwo in his incisive paper titled : “Economic Recession in Nigeria: Challenges and Solutions”, held the audience spell bound as he poignantly delivered a critical and analytical thesis on the state of the economy and the way forward.
WHY NIGERIA WENT INTO RECESSION
Hon Dozie went ahead to note that,after a decade of growth of about 6% in the Nigerian economy, Nigeria has been adjudged to be in the phase of recession following a sustained drop in her gross domestic product (GDP) of about 2.06 percent in the second quarters of 2016 after falling 0.36 percent in the previous three months. This is clearly visible in the indicators mentioned above and severe hardship faced by the citizenry in the country. He also elucidated a number of factors that have been attributed to this by different scholars and these include;
Poor policy planning and implementation, The debt servicing policy, the situation of insurgency and economic instability which is another traceable reason for the flight of foreign capital and investments in the country as well as the policy of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the Nigerian government which has been accounted for by many as the reason for low lending activities by commercial banks in the country.
He also avered that although significant progress may have been made as Nigerian economy shrank 0.5 % year on year in the first quarter of 2017, following an upwardly revised 1.7% contraction in the previous period. It is the smallest drop in the GDP in five quarters as the oil sector continue to decline but at a slower pace. GDP annual growth rate in Nigeria averaged 3.95% from 1982 until 2017, reaching an all-time high and a record low of 7.81% in the fourth quarter of 1983.
Flipping the other side of the coin, Hon Nwankwo also proffered didactic steps to be taken to re-invigorate the epileptic state of our economy.
REVIEW OF THE LOCAL CONTENT LAW:This law provides that Nigerian independent operators should be accorded “first consideration “in the award of oil and gas related contracts and that Nigerian service companies should also be given exclusive consideration” forcontracts and services. To end economic recession, this law has to be reviewed to accommodate other sectors of the economy as a frame work to stabilise indigenous companies thereby creating employment opportunities. The implication of this is that Nigeria would save the ambiguous amount of money paid to foreign companies and expatriates to the detriment of indigenous operators.
REVIEW OF NATIONAL SECURITY APPARATUS:
That is, to say the current national security framework does not or no longer satisfy the security demand of Nigerians is but stating the obvious. To boost the investors’ confidence, higher security network is a compelling necessity. My recommendation is that all relevant government agencies should get back to the drawing board with a view to develop a framework that will enhance security through.
1) Training and Retraining
2) Improved Remuneration
3) Increase manpower(More Recruitment).
TOTAL REPEAL OF EXPORT PROHIBITION LAWS CAP E22 LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA:
This was pulmugated by the military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida (RTD) outlawed export of certain agricultural produce such as Maize, Beans, Rice, yam, and others.Imprisonment was stated as penalty upon conviction and confiscation of any vehicles used in conveyance of such items.
Another highlight of the event was the presentation of an award to Hon. Ferdinand Dozie Nwankwo for his immense and redoubtable contributions to National development by the Vice Chancellor. Also, in a breath of awe and sheer respectability, an Abagana student presented an artistic portrait of the lawmaker to him. It was indeed an atmosphere of convivality and glee as the audience pleaded with the institution to organize more of such programmes so as to advance their intellects by rubbing minds with experts and technocrats as well as teach the young ones how to excel in life.
“Economic Recession In Nigeria: Challenges And Solution” is an incisive lecture presented by Hon. Ferdinand Dozie Nwankwo at the 2nd home-coming programme organised by the Department of Economics University of Nigeria Nsuka (UNN), 22nd july 2017.