What They Saying…?
“I must congratulate the government for plugging some of the loopholes and stopping some of the bleedings. The challenge, however, is that much of these have focused on the MICRO: while trying to tie down the chicken, we are either stopping the cows from coming in or chasing them away.
For example, while we are fixated with stopping the import of toothpicks and stopping the petty traders from taking dollar cash away, we have created havoc that have shut down many factories and with low capacity utilization, as well as ignited massive capital flight and halted capital inflows— with the attendant impoverishment of millions, escalating unemployment and inflation, etc. Put simply; we have missed the MACRO picture! While we are winning selected micro battles, we are losing the war on the MACRO economy.
In November 2015, I argued that the policy direction of government was inconsistent with its stated objectives of economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction, and that if it insisted on controlling price (exchange rate and capital controls) the way it was doing, the real economy (quantities) would adjust/contract with vengeance.
I further warned that incomplete or dysfunctional adjustment would be costly. In a matter of months, Nigerian economy was plunged into an avoidable recession. Naturally, most people never admit their errors—but rather point to other “external factors.” The last PDP government was blaming “external shocks” while the current APC government blames not only the fall in oil price/output but also the past PDP government. No one admits to policy errors, and that is the problem.