Olaleye Aluko, Abuja
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has urged the Federal Government to bring Nigeria out of the throes of recession by urgently reviewing its monetary policies.
Tinubu spoke on Wednesday as a guest lecturer at the National Defence College Course 25 lecture, titled, “Strategic Leadership: My Political Experiences.”
He argued that Nigeria’s current inflation rate of 18 per cent was unbearable and Nigerians were suffering for it.
The APC chieftain, who urged the Federal Government to “stimulate this economy,” 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.
He said, “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 per cent 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.”
Tinubu added that the leadership of the APC was right to criticise the Federal Government, because “when it is necessary, speak truth to the power, we are the power, we will talk the truth to ourselves.”
The APC national leader said the country would benefit more from a consistent monetary policy.
“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.
“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,” he added.
The Commandant of the College, Rear Admiral Samuel Alade, said the history of the return to democracy and democratic governance would be incomplete without nationalists such as Tinubu.
“That is why we have invited him to give a lecture on strategic leadership because every country requires a well-developed leadership and there is no time Nigeria needs this more than now,” the commandant added.