A professor of Economics, Innocent Eleazu has warned that the current economic recession could turn into depression if the Federal Government fails to find and apply the right solution to the problem.
Eleazu speaking to newsmen in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, urged state governors to pay their workers’ salaries, look inwards to develop the mineral and agricultural resources in their states to encourage spending among civil servants and increase local production as a means of improving their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
According to him, the economic solution many people are proffering in solving the problem of recession is not what should be done in order to come out of the economic quagmire.
He warned that further borrowing could further deepen the situation.
The professor who was due to deliver a lecture in Aba titled, “Recession in a Mono Economy: Challenges, Consequences” on November 15, said he feared that Nigeria does not have the foreign reserve to fall back to should the economy go into depression.
Eleazu debunked the notion that the current recession was caused by the Buhari administration, saying that the economy started depleting about four years ago.
He said that the only solution was the diversification of the economy, as did the United States of America (USA) when they faced a similar situation between 2007 and 2009.
“Since the end of the Second World War, USA has had 12 recessions, the hardest and most severe was the one in 2011 which ended in 2012. In all, they learned from the recessions and came out better.
“In our own case, we have to truly go back to land, get the grassroots farmers well mobilised, not the political or civil servants farmers. Government should not be involved beyond this level because no government agricultural policy has worked over the years”.
He also urged government to assist entrepreneurs and artisans in order to increase productivity.
The economist said he was sceptical about Nigeria’s borrowing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to solve the present economic problem, stressing that such steps would increase the debt profile of the country.
He said, “Since some people in the country are richer than Nigeria, the Federal Government should raise the needed funds internally instead of external borrowing with its attendant high interest rates”.
Prof Eleazu who claimed that he was one of the economists in USA the Democrat party used their input to evaluate their economic policies, however regretted that policy makers in Nigeria have not made use of reports experts submitted during the ousted President Jonathan’s regime which he said if implemented, would help to turn the economy around.
“In 2007, the past administration in the country invited me to Abuja and gave me the task of exploring the talents in the youth. After a thorough research, I submitted my report on May 29, 2007, but nothing was done on that till this moment,” he said. The Nation