By Mayowa Okekale, Abuja
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has said that Non-implementation of national development plans by successive governments is responsible for the stagnation in Nigeria’s development.
Speaking as the Special Guest of Honour at the 14th Daily Trust Dialogue with the theme “Beyond Recession: Towards a Resilient Economy”, in Abuja, the Speaker disclosed that the National Assembly has aligned with the executive arm of government to turn around the economy by focusing on priorities that will make maximum impact on economic recovery and respectable growth in concurrent resolution by the two chambers last year.
He said all governments since Lord Luggard never planned to fail “but have always had plans and in most cases those plans were drawn by some of the best brains available. But why did we fail?”
“The answer is that coming up with a plan is not hard but sticking to the plan until it is fully implemented, is. What is there in a plan if it is not fully implemented? Why do we love to waste resources to plan but hate to implement the plans? We must muster the discipline to overcome this shortcoming if we must sustain the coming economic rebound.”
Dogara also revealed that very soon the National Assembly will pass into law the Federal Competition Commission Bill which he said would among other things,
The relationship between competition and innovation according to the Speaker, is such that “if you do not compete, you can’t innovate and if you don’t innovate, you cannot compete.”
“To this end, the National Assembly will soon complete work on Federal Competition Commission Bill, a Bill I am personally promoting as the Sponsor which if signed into law will lead to efficient allocation of resources and deliver allocative, dynamic and productive efficiencies in our markets.”
The speaker maintained that only innovation can sustain the coming economic rebound and that innovation is central to a competitive economy and added that ” Anyone who out-innovate you will outcompete you. Our post recession markets must be competitive if they must yield to their full potentials. Undertakings must compete and must not collude.”
For the economy, post recession, to be placed on a sustainable growth and resilient trajectory, a number of tools we have developed must be deployed. Over the years governments have paid lip service to the question of diversification of the economy’s resource base and especially the development of agriculture as well as solid minerals. Agriculture remains, not only, the highest employer of the nation’s workforce but possess the greatest potential for job creation and sustenance.
The government must muster the political will to effectively deploy resources to raise productivity in the agricultural sector. A notable aspect of modernization of agriculture is the encouragement and adoption of technology enhancing approaches to make the sector attractive to young people and generate decent income and employment. Of course this cannot be achieved without the deliberate strengthening of Development Finance Institutions such as Bank of Agriculture.
In a post recession economy, there will be the need to have monetary policy that works in harmony with fiscal policy. Since the recession began, the fiscal policy stance has been appropriately expansionary while monetary policy has been tight or restrictive, characterised by very high Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) and lending rates, thus making loanable funds inaccessible and unaffordable to operators in the real sectors of the economy, particularly