The former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN, decried that Nigeria’s economic recession may continue until 2020 – longer than the country can bear, if President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration fail to adjust some of its policies.
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, Dr. Agbakoba advocated the urgent need for federal government to develop a consistent fiscal, trade and monetary policy. He advised the President to set up an economic team comprising of experts and technocrats, to focus on drawing the country out of recession.
In his opinion, Agbakoba said the Federal Government needs to spend more to boost growth and there should be a Presidential Proclamation at the National Assembly, switching from austerity to growth policy.
“The Federal Government should return to the Treasury Single Account, TSA, to commercial banks and create a new supervisory agency to supervise the banks.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, should be limited to formulating monetary policies and take away banking supervision to new prudential regulatory authority and banking ethics to new financial conduct authority,” the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said.
“If banks focus on lending and not trading, money will flood the system for productive value.”
According to him, Nigeria must spend her way out of recession.
“When you go to the hospital and the doctor says you’re anaemic, only one thing is done – transfusion. So, how can the government present an austerity programme?
“The government must be clear as to what policy it wants to pursue. There is only one way out of recession and it is massive bouncing. You have to bounce the economy.
“Niger Delta is crying for money, South-East is crying for money, we all know that South-West is crying for money, so, you have public works to spend money on.
“You will be surprised if there’s a situation where Julius Berger and co are given contracts to build roads and you say for every contract, you must have 10 per cent labourers, you will find that the economy will slowly revive.
Dr. Agbakoba observed that if such measures – as indicated above, are not set up by government, the country will be faced with a long term recession. He expressed optimism that that Nigeria can recover by Q2 2017 but also require application of best possible methods.