The leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, has urged Nigerians to do their best and resist recession at this point rather than focusing on inflation.
In a Democracy Day message on Sunday, the former Lagos State Governor stressed the need for Nigeria to sustain its democracy, by moving to a phase of clearing the system of the malpractices of the past that do not contribute to good governance but only perpetuate extant ills that must be jettisoned.
“The people gave conservative elitist government 16 years to drive the nation forward. It drove the nation indeed: right into the ditch we find ourselves,” he stated.
Senator Tinubu further said that ‘given the rate of joblessness and poverty, it is more fitting to fight recession at this point than to focus on inflation’.
“We can endure a bit more inflation if it means more jobs and greater aggregate demand that can develop the velocity needed to free the economy of recession’s gravitational pull. We must resist recession; it is harder to shake off once it takes grip of an economy.
“Moreover, if we are bold enough not to allow fear to paralyse us, we can start projects that bring people into the work force, we can modernise our infrastructure which will reduce the cost of living and doing business.
“We can institute policies that create new industries and businesses as well as improve old ones. These measures will form the foundation of a diversified economy that will become more resistant to inflation because it is less reliant on imports,” he said.
The leader of the ruling party further stated that if the measure were considered, it would be more recession resistant because “the economy will rest on multiple revenue sources instead of a single source that is dependent on foreign consumer preferences over which we have little control”.
He also pointed out that restructuring Nigeria’s economy was the most complex challenge since a lot depended on it.
“We all must contribute if we are to win.
“Now is not the time to lament, murmur or give into despair. It is time to summon once again the political and social courage that we well know and that well knows us.
“We need to push forward and to urge government forward to do that which it must to achieve this great generational feat. We stand between success and failure; but we cannot maintain this middling position forever,” he pointed out.
The APC had during its campaign before the 2015 general elections promised Nigerians change, but critics say some government policies have caused hardship on Nigerians rather then moving their lives forward.
But Senator Tinubu said “change takes boldness, perseverance and moral fortitude; profound change requires even more so”.
Acknowledging that the task is hard, he made some suggestions about how the government could address the economic challenges facing the nation, hinging the way forward on diversification of the economy.
He also suggested the expansion of the nation’s infrastructural network, bolstering agricultural and farm incomes, as well as filliping industry and manufacturing to provide jobs for a rapidly expanding urban work force.
“We must revise how our children are educate that they are prepared for the 21st century instead of barely educated to function in the 19th.
“To accomplish our economic rescue, we need a fiscal policy that stands unrivalled in its range and its objectives.
“Government must dedicate unprecedented amounts for productive expenditure in our transportation infrastructure, power generation, food security and job creation.
“We have entered a period of stagflation where recession or shrinkage of the economy is accompanied by higher prices.
“Unfortunately, if we try to fight both at the same time, we fight neither effectively,” he warned and wished Nigerians a Happy Democracy Day.