A consultant for the World Bank and President of Nigeria Economic Society, Olu Ajakaiye, has said that the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari must do all it can to develop the economy even if it means stealing from other countries.
At the 2017 edition of The Bullion Lecture organised by the Centre for Financial Journalism, Ajakaiye said in his keynote lecture that the method he is suggesting to Buhari may seem unorthodox but many first world nations became prosperous that way.
He noted that leaving economic growth and development to market forces and policies are not enough to get the country out of its present hole.
“Let us therefore not be under any illusion and say the market will do it. They have to make sure they provide the market, whatever it takes, including stealing from other countries,” he said.
“The developed systems that we have now were as a result of resources taken from here, and they are ahead. Their government didn’t say we would be nice guys, we would not go and steal.
“They carried our people, young people, valuable people, and they now established the first world.”
Ajakaiye also said that President Buhari’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan is a good step to alleviate the economic hardship in the country.
He, however, said that the previous administration lacked the willpower and knowledge to steer Nigeria economically, thus blaming the Goodluck Jonathan administration for some of the country’s current problems.
“When the economy was growing in a fictitious way — I regarded the growth of 2010 to 2014 as fictitious. Why is it fictitious, it is growth that is driven by government just deploying oil revenue into the economy.
“The structure remained dis-articulated and we are actually deceiving ourselves in a very interesting way by saying the economy leaped-frog, we have now got to a stage where we are arrived, because in advanced countries, service sector is now dominant.
“They call it tertiarisation of the economy. Our economy was prematurely tertiarised, and this was the harbinger of poverty.
“I always tell people, when you go to Europe where their economy is already tertiarised, do you see anybody running after you in traffic to sell you recharge card? Do you see anybody hanging pure water in front of you? Do you see people running 140? That is our tertiarised service sector.”
Ajakaiye also said that the government should enable the private sector to impact on the economy positively by providing the right economic atmosphere.