National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has urged the Federal Government to review its monetary policies and bring Nigeria out of its recession throes.
Acknowledging that Nigeria’s current inflation rate of 18 per cent was unbearable and Nigerians were suffering for it, the APC chieftain, urged the Federal Government to “stimulate this economy.”
Bola Tinubu argued that the APC leadership was right to criticize the Federal Government, because “when it is necessary, speak truth to the power, we are the power, we will talk the truth to ourselves.”
He said the decline of oil prices seemed to be a long-term phenomenon and strategic objectives must be put in place to re-engineer the economy, using the bottom-up approach.
Speaking as a guest lecturer at the National Defence College, on Wednesday, the APC Chieftain made his stance known in a Course 25 lecture, titled, “Strategic Leadership: My Political Experiences.”
“In the situation we face, deficit spending is essential to bolster aggregate demand and direct funds to projects that build infrastructure and bolster employment. We must better harmonise monetary policy with fiscal policy. It undercuts our goals if monetary policy is unduly tight at a time when fiscal policy begets deficit spending.
“We must also realign trade policy with our need to create a meaningful industrial base and more potent agricultural sector. We can no longer allow cheap imports to preclude the development of industries and sectors strategic to our enduring economic future.
“What am I doing if I have a billion, and you are ready to give me 180 million, that is 18 percent upfront, do I have to work or do anything again? These are the factors they have to look at quickly to ease the monetary policy. You have to stimulate this economy, you have to spend yourself out of this recession and you cannot do that by consistently stifling the banks of liquidity. It is their money; it is their saving. We have to criticise ourselves when it is necessary, speak truth to power. We are the power, we speak truth to ourselves.
“The monetary policy must be consistent with the environmental need of our domestic requirements, you cannot hold on too much or too tight to a policy.”
Bola Tinubu said the country would benefit more from a consistent monetary policy, as our fiscal policy does not mesh with monetary policy. Trade policy undermines industrial policy, thus the ease of doing business is inhibited. Overseas peacekeeping missions do not always harmonise with core foreign policy interests. A nation in progress seeks to minimise, not harvest additional contradictions, otherwise, its leadership strategy is doomed to fail.
He added that strategic objectives during this period of economic uncertainty must be to re-engineer the economy bottom up, diversify the economic base, strengthen our industrial base, modernise infrastructure, enhance agriculture, and provide employment and of course, ease of doing business.
On the other hand, Tinubu commended the Nigerian military for its achievements against Boko Haram, and hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for achieving what his predecessor was incapable of in the fight against insurgency.
Bola Tinubu said long years of gross misgovernance was responsible for the rise of extremism in the country, but with the courage and dedication of the military, Boko Haram has been subdued.
He also noted that significant progress is being made against corruption. Press freedoms and civil liberties are protected, putting to lie those who cried that President Buhari would not respect democracy and rule of law.
In his words:
“You have battled and bested this evil enterprise. This vile force has been reduced to where it no longer poses a strategic threat. You have done as well as a military can in putting down this amorphous danger. The nation thanks you. I must say here, however, that we cannot lower our guard.
“We have learned cardinal lessons from the Boko Haram crisis. First, we must govern justly and for the benefit of the people to prevent the recurrence of violent extremism in the future.”
He adds that widespread poverty caused by an unjust allocation of income, wealth and resources provides fertile ground for extremist ideologies, that run contrary to the inclusive democracy we seek to perfect.