Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education, says the economic policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government are “archaic”, comparing them to the ones he used as a military head of state.
Speaking on Saturday at The Platform, a yearly programme organised by Covenant Christian Center, Ezekwesili lamented the economic situation of the country.
She said the effect of the policies have been detrimental to the masses.
“What did not work in 1984 cannot possibly be a solution in a global economy that’s much more integrated,” she said.
“During the first coming of this our new president, a command and control economic system was adopted, and inflation spiraled, jobs were lost and the economic growth level dipped.
“In over one year, the president is still holding to the premise that command and control is the only way out, and we have lost the single digits inflation status we maintained in past administrations.
“The weakest and the most vulnerable suffer the impact of inflation the most. Enormous power is being abused as a result of archaic and opaque economic policies.”
Ezekwesili emphasised that the primary purpose of government is to provide security of lives and properties, as well as improve the welfare of the people.
She also criticised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying the apex bank needs to “regain its autonomy”.
“We need to rethink the present monetary policy of the administration, actually the monetary policy was relatively safe guarded from political domination, it will do well to give a semblance of autonomy back to the Central Bank, so that the central bank would speak the language of economics and not this language of rhetoric and language of anecdote, and language of suppositions that are no longer premised on hard economic facts,” she said.
“It is important that the central bank will retrace its steps and get back in right monetary policy making. Its crucial. If we lost that, it’s going to be tough to regain.”
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who delivered the keynote address, charged Nigerians to harness the opportunity presented by information technology.
Commenting on the theme: ‘Nigeria, what is in your hands? Tapping into our dead economy, looking beyond our oil driven economy’, Osinbajo harped on the need not to be totally reliant on government.
“We want to challenge you to build solutions for smart electricity, education, healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, and so on,” he said.
The vice-president expressed the determination of the current administration to positively transform the country.
Other speakers were: Ibukun Awosika, chairman of First Bank; Mitchell Elegbe, founder and CEO of Interswitch Group; Seun Onigbinde, co-founder BudgIT; Taiwo Oyedele, partner, head of tax and corporate advisory services at PwC Nigeria; Itoya Ijewere, former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).