Thursday 22nd June, 2017
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TSA killing Nigeria's economy, says Soludo

TSA killing Nigeria's economy, says Soludo

Former Governor of the Cen­tral Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, on Thursday put the poli­cies of the Muhammadu Buhari ad­ministration on the scale, and de­clared that they were ill-conceived.
Soludo, specifically picked on the Treasury Single Account (TSA), which he asserted was ruining the nation’s economy.
He said that Nigeria can over­come the current economic set­back faster if the government puts in place the appropriate policies.
Soludo spoke at the 2017 Inter­national Conference organised by the Department of Business Ad­ministration of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, on Thursday.
In the lecture titled: “Manag­ing A Recessed Economy”, Solu­do said that managing and exiting a recessed economy was not rock­et science.
He, however, blamed the coun­try economic woes on bad policies in the time of boom.
Soludo said: “They brought in the Single Treasury Account (TSA) and channelled funds into one ac­count that did not allow spending, and they also fixed the price of for­eign exchange. These are things you do not do.”
Speaking further on TSA, Solu­do said that the government chan­nelled all public sector funds to the CBN and stiffed the economy in­stead of oiling it with liquidity.
Soludo advocated diversifica­tion of the economy beyond oil to save it from shocks induced by va­garies of the international oil mar­ket.
According to the News Agen­cy of Nigeria (NAN), Soludo called for decentralisation from Abuja to help the states and local govern­ments to live beyond running to the centre for their existence and sustainability.
“Another way of tackling the challenges of the country is to un­bundle Abuja, trim down the ex­clusive list.
“We do not have to be running to Abuja for everything, that was why I was surprised when some people canvassed that local gov­ernments should be going to Abu­ja to take their allocations direct­ly,” he said.
He said that the recession which became obvious one year into the life of the present admin­istration would not have degener­ated but for the inability of policy makers to rise to the challenge.
“Poor ideas transcended over superior ideas, and we went into re­cession which was slightly avoida­ble, that is why academics must be alive to their responsibility of nudg­ing us to reality,” he said.
He emphasised that the foun­dation for the recession was laid by the previous administration, which he said, borrowed to fund recurrent expenditure at a time when oil pric­es were as high as over 100 dollars to a barrel.
The former CBN boss said that part of the problem was because Ni­geria failed to save funds at a time when there was unprecedented boom in oil prices, but rather en­gaged in unprecedented borrowing.
“If you borrow at a time of boom, what will you do in time of lack? Even my grandmother in the village knows this. At the same time when we had boom, we had unprecedented unemployment.
“The problem with Nigeria’s successive policy makers is that once oil goes up, we take it that it will remain so, and we continue to spend.
“But once there is a shock and oil goes down, we just think it is temporary and we start borrowing.
“Nigeria can be fixed, and what it needs to fix Nigeria is not rocket science, but we do not have the will to fix her,” Soludo said.
“Part of the problem Nigeria is having in its quest to get out of re­cession was poor policy.
“Huge spending by govern­ment was one of the ways of solv­ing the economic problem, but two wrong steps by government ruined that.
In his remark, Senator Barau Jibrin, Chairman, Senate Com­mittee on Tertiary Education and TETFUND, commended the school for holding such thought-provok­ing conference on way forward for the economy.
Jibrin, represented by Alex Unachukwu, said it came at a time when Nigeria needs the knowledge of academia to tackle its challenges.
Earlier, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, Vice Chancellor of the university, commended the choice of Soludo as a lead paper presenter, saying he remains a world known economist, renowned for fixing economies.

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