Get Latest Tori News Alert!
Enter your email below.

Delivered by FeedBurner





Hot Stories
Recent Stories

FG’s Tough Decisions Only Way To Rescue 10-Year Mismanaged Economy - Sanusi

Posted by Samuel on Fri 24th May, 2024 - tori.ng

Delivering his keynote speech at the second day of the Rivers State Economic and Investment Summit in Port Harcourt, Sanusi said the reform of any economy required taking difficult decisions.

Muhammadu Sanusi II

Muhammadu Sanusi II, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has commended the Federal Government for making tough decisions, stating that such actions are essential to salvage the country's economy, which has been mismanaged for a decade.

Delivering his keynote speech at the second day of the Rivers State Economic and Investment Summit in Port Harcourt, Sanusi said the reform of any economy required taking difficult decisions.

He said such decisions might be painful and unpopular but were necessary to save the future of those experiencing the temporary hardship.

Sanusi said politicians interested in reflections were always fond of running away from taking such difficult decisions and called on Nigerians to be realistic about their expectations.

Insisting that there was no other way to salvage a decade of mismanaged economy apart from taking tough decisions, the former CBN boss advised the citizens to wait a little while to see the turnaround of the economy.

Sanusi said: “At this momentum in our history when the country is desperate to chart a new course in economic thinking opting for a paradigm shift that seeks to harness our vast potential and propel us towards sustainable growth and prosperity, the decision to centre government around economic development and investment promotion is a very thoughtful and brave decision by the government of Rivers State.

“This is more so because the reform of an economy whether of a state or a federation at large requires difficult decisions. It involves policies that may be painful and unpopular which don’t usually go down well with politicians who need a reelection.

“But that is the only way to guarantee a better future for same people it will be hard upon. And at this point it is important for us as Nigerians to be realistic. The mismanagement of the last ten years will not be undone in six months or one year.

“And we need to understand that some of the difficult decisions that are taken will take time to work through the economy. It will take a little while for us to see a turnaround. But those decisions are absolutely necessary in order to save the economy.

“We always knew we have to go through this process if we did not change course. And we have seen this movie in Zimbabwe. We have seen it in Venezuela.

“We have seen it in Argentina and it is a movie we do not want to be part of. I do hope that we will make this transition a short one and go back to economic growth. But it is the right thing to do”.

Sanusi said as the second largest economy in Nigeria after Lagos, Rivers State had a big opportunity to emerge as a beacon of progress in the face of hopelessness by building a resilient dynamic modern and effective system that fostered economic development and prosperity.

He said: “With rich arable land, abundant oil and water resources as well as the strategic location of the state, Rivers can be one of the investor’s paradises not just in Nigeria but in West Africa if the right things can be done.

“The recent boom in mechanised agriculture, international trade, transportation, tourism, real estate and ICT that are being witnessed in the state are evident that development is not too lofty a dream to achieve and they are testament that Rivers is ripe for investment and growth”.

The Emir, however, contended that sustainable development could only happen through deep thinking, deliberate and strategic actions as well as the political will to perform and achieve it .

He said: “Rivers is blessed with abundant resources. However sitting on oil or any natural resource is not enough for economic development. I have said that if we are to dig out all the oil that is under Nigeria soil and sell it and share the money among  all Nigerians, we will at best be a lower  medium income country.

“Oil is a resource but not enough to make us a wealthy country. To achieve development it is important we take some specific steps that transcend natural resources, to diversify and institutionalise foundational economic frameworks. To fully reap the blessings of oil itself chiefly because it is not wholly controlled by the state there is a need to consider its viability and risks.

“To ensure a prosperous future, we must embrace innovation and reforms to make the state attractive for investment and capable of realistic growth. It is the capacity of state institutions to ensure quality in thinking and skills of the population that will be critical to the delivery of results.

“Japan and Singapore do not have any mineral resources neither do Germany, Switzerland, Australia or Rwanda to give a few examples. By no means however, will anyone compare the standard of living, life expectancy or any other development benchmark in these countries with most of the countries with plentiful mineral resources such as Nigeria.

“Again, despite having abundant of mineral resources countries like Russia, the UAE, Norway and others have developed not only by those resources given to them by nature or providence but by successful and deliberate vision to diversify through the quality of their governance, institutions and people”.

Sanusi maintained that  resources could  be a blessing or a curse but said the choice belonged to the leaders insisting that the leaders we had were the curse and not the oil.

Sanusi said: “Human capital and good governance are why countries that are complex in their characteristics such as India, Brazil, China and the USA have developed through innovation, intellectual property education and strong public institutions.

“If we are serious about development we have to stop expecting oil to do everything for us. Everyone in Nigeria talks about investment, infrastructure and development. But few actually considered that no investors will simply deploy resources in the name of investment unless they see that the environment is prepared to accommodate their business, make it proper and protect it.

“Capitalism does not flourish and create wealth for everyone by the number of bridges and office edifices that the government built but by strong fiscal and trade institutions that create a level playing field and incentives to ease business.

“Your roads and bridges will eventually decay and you have to either borrow to build new ones or become helpless. With an easy business environment and a skilled population, economies have transformed and grown to mega cities”.

The Emir said it was not enough to want to bring investors or achieve economic development in Rivers without laying the requisite foundations for the economy.

He said Rivers must develop required human capital, design education and skilled training that were for for the century.

Sanusi said: ”We have to lay some foundations for the economy to stand on. For this we must emphasise human capital and design education and skilled training that are fit for this century such that the IOCs for example don’t have to bring expatriates to work on their offshore and onshore.

“The state education system should create a skilled population that is fit for the requirements of any investor to safeguard employment of your citizens. The standards of the civil service have to implement investor friendly policies that will attract and regulate these investments.

“The judiciary must be independent and judges must be seen to rise above any suspicion of corruption. The laws should be such as to protect investments and our taxation system should not be an extortional system”.

In his recommendations to prepare the ground for investment, Sanusi asked the state government to Invest in the people saying that Rivers needed robust education  and skilled training programme aimed to prepare the youths to be the future workforce.

“You need innovators and entrepreneurs that will supply services across all value chains and industries, and it is important to raise the quality of schools by investing in teaching capacity, learning tools and pedology that will nurture a culture of creativity and problem solving.

“It is critically important to invest in vocational training and apprenticeship to close education gap, aligning with the needs of our economy”,
he said

He said the state must carry out  institutional reforms to foster a business friendly environment adding that Rivers must evolve an efficient legal and judicial system as well as invest massively  in strategic infrastructures.

Rivers Governor Siminalayi Fubara, who earlier spoke at a cocktail party at the Banquet Hall on Wednesday night vowed to sustain the drive at mobilising critical stakeholders with attractive investment portfolios in the business community to join forces with his administration to chart an economic growth trajectory of the state.

Fubara told the captains of businesses that the economic summit would provide salient data that would assist his administration to draw up economic roadmap for the state.



Top Stories
Popular Stories


Stories from this Category
Recent Stories