*’Using wrong tools to address problem drags solution’
The Director of Policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Moses Tule, has said that the recession currently experienced in the country was a way Nigerians chose for themselves.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday at a roundtable meeting organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) to address the economic recession, which appeared to be persistent despite all efforts being made, the CBN director listed all the factors that led to the recession adding that it was unfortunate that CBN’s warnings ahead of the recession were not heeded.
Explaining how the nation got into recession, Tule said: “Oil prices are down. Not only are oil prices down, the Niger Delta Avengers have blown up oil producing facilities and export facilities, severally.
“When they blew the Forcados, it took government six months to fix Forcados. That was a loading bay. And after fixing it, they went back and blew it again. So we have oil prices and production going down. The implication is that foreign exchange earnings are going down, but unfortunately, our import expenditure is not going down. It is still in the region of N976 billion, monthly.”
He lamented Nigerians’ penchant for imported goods and an absence of export culture. He said sitting down and blaming the CBN for the falling value of the naira was futile, insisting that, “If we want to regain our place, how did we get here? We must address that question.
“The moment we began to prefer imported goods to our domestically produced goods, we laid the foundation and built the superstructure to where we are now. This is a conscious choice. Every country makes the choice where it wants to be. This is what we chose for ourselves as a country.”
He however said the recession was persistent because wrong tools were being used to address it as, according to him, professionals who knew how to do it were not involved.
His words: “Some came in as doctors into the macro-economic management and are giving the tools of medical doctors to advise on how to solve the problem of recession. Some came in as carpenters and they are using carpentry tools to advise on the problems of economic recession; some came in as engineers and they are using their tools to advise on how to address economic recession.
“They have not allowed the professionals to do their jobs. They have not allowed the professionals to provide the direction.”
According to the director, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had, since early last year, consistently warned that the nation would slip into recession if urgent steps are not taken but that the warnings were not heeded.