Former Central Bank Deputy Governor and Founder, Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation (IGET), Professor Chiedu Moghalu, has called for the need to set out a national ambition for Nigeria, with leaders who can execute a sustainable vision for the country to transform the economic structure and the lives of citizens.
He made the call as the distinguished guest lecturer at the 5th Goddy Jidenma Foundation Public Lecture held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Joining other influential leaders, the former United Nations official emphasized that Nigerians should stop underestimating the sheer scale of the challenge to the country’s economic growth.
Themed ‘The Challenge of Economic Growth in Nigeria’, the public lecture was organised by the Goddy Jidenma Foundation (GJF) to celebrate the legacy of the late Arc Godwin Nwaolisa Jidenma.
He said, “Nigeria has failed to achieve intensive and effective economic growth because the country’s economy is managed mostly on an ad-hoc, reactive basis. It is a ‘survival’ economy in which most governments have had no real economic vision or a strategy to execute such a vision successfully.
“Most damaging, there is little interrogation of either received wisdom based on global economic policy “fashions” or of the country’s own policy assumptions that are consistently long on populism and short on substance,” he added.
He further reiterated that Nigeria’s fundamental conundrum lies in striking a balance between the role of the state and the market in a quest for sustainable economic growth and development.
“Our path to economic growth is challenged by the failure to build the necessary foundations for prosperity in a liberal capitalist economy. Nigeria moved into financial liberalization without achieving the required minimum threshold of industrialization — which is what drives economic transformation. Finance does not play the optimal role it should in Nigeria’s economic development and the three factors of production – land, capital, and labour are out of synchronization in our economy,” Moghalu emphasized.
The Goddy Jidenma Foundation Public Lecture, which is meant to elevate public speaking, includes other activities to promote ethical leadership initiatives and self-discovery among Nigerian youths, including thought-leadership discussions that would contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of Nigeria and Africa.