By Stanley Nwanosike
A renowned economist, Prof. Michael Nyong of the University of Calabar, has blamed the unwillingness of the political class to listen to economic experts for the current recession.
Nyong made the statement on Monday in Enugu in an interview on the sidelines of an executive course organised for lecturers in institutions of higher learning.
The course, with the theme:“Econometric Methods for Policy Analysis,’’ was organised by African Heritage Institution (Afri-Heritage).
The don pointed out that several economic pointers identified by Nigerian economists even during the past administration, had indicated that Nigeria was heading for recession.
“We have sound economists and academicians, whose researches as well as indicators on ground had shown that we are heading for recession.
“However, our politicians and political leaders refused to listen and act on time.
“Today, Nigeria is in recession and it had already produced hardship for everyone both the rich and poor,’’Nyong, who is also fellow, Institute of Operations Research, said.
The lecturer said that the lacuna between policy makers, who are economists and politicians who implement policy, must be closed for Nigeria to come out of recession.
“It is possible for Nigeria to come out of the recession with the economic team coming out with sound policies and faithful implementation of such policies.
“The government should also discourage excessive import and monopolistic export of crude oil,’’ he added.
Earlier, the Executive Director of Afri-Heritage, Prof. Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, said that the two-week executive course was organised for lecturers in higher institutions across the country.
He said that 30 lecturers attending the course would be taught theoretical and practical approach of using econometric in economic and financial analysis and policy-making.
According to him, the course is a train-the-trainers course to re-awaken policy-makers on long term plan to revive the economy.
“We want to pool several economic experts to form a critical mass who will speak out on ailing economic situations and decisions.
“The course will help to advise those in government, corporate bodies and entrepreneurs on better ways of attaining progressive economic policies and programmes,’’ he said.