Nigeria needs long-term economic development plan – Economist, By Samuel Awoyinfa,  and Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

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A professor of Economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Sheriffdeen Tella, said the nation’s economy had not fared well, as it celebrated its 59th independence.

He noted that the country’s economic development had been stunted by corruption and lack of a long-term plan.

Tella noted that gone were the days of short-term plan, as serious nations now plan for between 25 and 50 years.

He said, “Nigeria at 59, I will say that we have not fared well as far as the economy is concerned. We are where we are today due to corruption, and the country lacks long-term development plan.

“All those short-term plans can no longer work. Serious nations plan for between 25, 30 and 50 years.”

Tella also the economy was in dire strait because productivity was low, as labour had not been given due attention and necessary push to enhance productivity.

He added that the absence of independent, thriving private sector was equally responsible for the lacklustre performance of the economy.

He said, “The private sector, which ought to be independent, relies on the public sector for survival. Whenever there is a problem in the public sector, it affects the private sector. For example, look at the Discos, which are majorly privately-owned, waiting for bailouts from the government, instead of going to the capital market to raise funds.”

A real estate expert and fellow of the Nigerian Institution for Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Mr Kola Akomolede, said Nigeria had not done as well as it should when compared to some countries that it was at the same level with before independence.

These countries, he said, included India, Pakistan, and China, which he noted had gone beyond Nigeria’s current economic level.

Akomolede said, “Economically, we have moved from where we were in 1960, there is no doubt about that because as at then we had few highways and bridges unlike the Third Mainland Bridge and the Onitsha Bridge.

“But we are not where we should be. At 59, we should have achieved most of the things one should achieve in life. So, definitely, Nigeria has not done very well at the stage we are now.

“If you compare with those who were at the same level with us and consider where they were in 1960 and where they are today, we could do better. But we pray that things will get better.”

According to him, the only thing worth celebrating is the fact that the country is still in existence.

 SOURCE: THE PUNCH

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