Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili on Saturday picked holes in President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic policies.
She said the President’s economic policies are similar to those he promulgated during the military regime he led from 1983 to 1987.
Ezekwesili spoke at The Platform, a public engagement forum, organized by the Covenant Church led by Pastor Poju Oyemade in Abuja.
The former Minister said Mr. Buhari’s “archaic” and “opaque” economic principles are not only encouraging massive corruption and abuse of power, but also hurting the poor they were intended to help.
“During the first coming of this our new president, a command and control economic system was adopted. During that era, inflation spiralled. During that era, jobs were lost. During that era, the economic growth level dipped.
“That era wasn’t the best of eras in economic progress. What did not work in 1984 cannot possibly be a solution in a global economy that’s much more integrated,” she said
She said that Mr. Buhari was rehashing the same “command and control” approach towards economic issues which has left the country’s economic indices worse off since he assumed office almost year ago.
She added: “In over one year, the president is still holding to the premise that command and control is the only way out.
“In a year we have lost the single digits inflation status we maintained in past administrations.” She said.
Mrs. Ezekwesili said Mr. Buhari’s distortion of foreign exchange system has left the poor it was intended to support even worse off.
She said: “The president comes into this economic philosophy on the premise that he does not want the poor to suffer. I can relate to that, a leader must not allow the poor to suffer, especially a leader who knows that most of his votes came not from the elite but from the poor.
“The problem though is that the intention and the outcome are diverged. The weakest and the most vulnerable suffer the impact of inflation the most. Enormous power is being abused as a result of opaque economic policies.
“Companies are suddenly finding themselves unable to produce because they’re unable to access foreign exchange,” she said.
Mrs. Ezekwesili, therefore, urged Mr. Buhari to sit down with his administration officials and reconsider the impact his polices have had on the nation’s economy.
“Mr. President should sit with his team and look at the economic evidence that speaks loudly. It’s time to sit back and review the well-intended idea of command and control economic principle.
“He should do what the Americans say that if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it,” Mrs. Ezekwesili stated.
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