Home » Articles, Columnists, Emeka Chiakwelu, NNP Columnists » Atiku’s Vice President: Focused on Economic Experts – Peter Obi, Soludo or Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala – By Emeka Chiakwelu

Atiku’s Vice President: Focused on Economic Experts – Peter Obi, Soludo or Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala – By Emeka Chiakwelu

By Emeka Chiakwelu  | NNP | October 10, 2018 – Abubakar Atiku having become the flag bearer of Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) must now make the tough and important decision of picking his vice
president. The man or woman he picked with reveal to Nigerians especially
voters the type of the government he desires to run if elected.

At the interim, Nigeria is in a dire economic straits and Atiku needs a
pro-growth economic advocate as his running mate. It is not a secret that
Nigeria’s economic growth is anemic and in some cases decelerating with
itinerant and runaway inflation. Unemployment is becoming the sinkhole of
the nation. With the annual population growth rate at 2.6 percent, the
economic growth of less than 1 percent stood below the population growth.
This debacle scenario is an explosive catastrophic that will eventually
threaten peace and stability of a nation.

Providing jobs to Nigerian youths must be the cornerstone of his economic
policy. The greatest resource of Nigeria is not oil but human capital
from the youthful energy that must be harnessed to create a stable and
prosperous nation.

Nigeria’s economy contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016 with total annual
negative growth of -1.5 percent and became the worst annual slump in 25
years. The economy went into recession due to two consecutive quarters of
negative growths in 2016. Finally, the country came out from recession
with anemic growth of less than 1 percent. To be precise the recorded GDP
growth was 0.83 percent in 2017 according to indices that came from
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The level of unemployment is alarming especially among the youths. Job
Statistics published in 2017 by “Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics
(NBS) pegs the unemployment rate at 14.2% in the last quarter of 2016, up
from 13.9% in the preceding quarter. It’s the ninth consecutive quarter
that the unemployment rate in Nigeria has increased.” And it is not
getting better with the latest recorded unemployment of 18.8 percent. If
we must be frank with each other, the true unemployment rate is way bigger
than the official rate.

The recommendation is for Atiku to pick those that have been tested and
gone through crucible of economic realities. With interest rate at 14
percent and inflation rate 16.5 percent, an economic expert is needed to
deploy fiscal policy that will compliment the daunting monetary policy in
order to stimulate growth, attract investors and create jobs.

Peter Obi, a former Anambra State governor and a business man needs no
introduction because his accomplishment in socioeconomic speaks for him.
Obi is an apostle of financial discipline and economic growth.

This goes for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, although she is not a politician but a
respected technocrat. Notwithstanding, she has been in halls of government
in Nigeria and understands the tools and bolts of the polity. Her global
standing as an astute economist and money manager will attract foreign
investors and her oversee of the economy will bring discipline and
transparency in that sector.

Chukwuma Soludo was one of most successful executive governors of Central
Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He is a financial intellectual with pragmatic bent
especially in tilting to pro-growth policy. Soludo was the leader in
consolidating Nigerian banks and thereby raised their global profile. He
has excellent credentials in managing monetary policy especially in
stabilizing price, taming inflation with optimum interest rates.

………………

Emeka Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have
appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other
important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in
many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning
including Harvard Education and Oxford University. Africa Political &
Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center
whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy
debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise,
democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict
resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. info@afripol.org

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