Economic Experts Express Divergent Views Over Tinubu’s Plan To Grow Nigeria’s Economy By 12%

Some finance and economic experts on Wednesday expressed divergent views on the 12 per cent Gross Domestic Growth projection made by the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the 2023 general election.

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The experts made their position known during separate telephone interviews with THE WHISTLER.

Those that spoke are a Professor of Economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State, Sheriffdeen Tella; and the Registrar of the Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Eohoi.

Tinubu had shortly after he emerged as the Presidential flagbearer at the just concluded APC Convention promised to dredge the Calabar sea port and increase the nation’s GDP to 12 per cent as well as create jobs for the youth, if elected Nigeria’s president in 2023.

Tinubu stated this as part of his economic blueprint during his acceptance speech shortly after he was elected as the APC flag bearer for the 2023 general election.

Nigeria’s GDP grew by 3.11 per cent as at the end of the first quarter of 2022 based on data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Speaking on the 12 per cent GDP projection, Tella said that with the challenges facing the economy, it is impracticable for Nigeria’s GDP to grow by 12 per cent.

The Varsity Don said, “He (Tinubu) cannot start from year one, what he should be thinking about is how he’ll grow it by 12 per cent at the end of his first term if elected president.

“Growing the GDP requires not only a domestic environment but also an international standard or environment, it’s good to be ambitious but I believe that Tinubu would have said he’ll take it step by step thereby giving a breakdown of how the growth would take place annually till the end of the first term.

He added, “We have resources, but I don’t think we have the manpower to build the resources and he should also take note of the international environment as it’s a strong determiner of the domestic environment also.”

Tella however, said that the dredging of the Calabar seaport will help to decongest the Lagos Sea port by creating more terminals ships for import and export of goods.

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“It will also improve employment, because more labour would be needed here by reducing unemployment in the country, also serve as a means of revenue generation as more ships would be put in work at different terminal created by the sea ports.

For Eohoi, he said, “I think growing the GDP from 1.8 percent to 12 per cent can be achieved depending on the avenue in which we are looking at it.

“He can increase the federal government budget in a manner that will promote industrialization in the Nigeria economy so that we will not be depending on importation.

“We have a lot of challenges such as epileptic power supply, if he can tackle that within the shortest period of time, and industrialize the economy, then we can talk about growing the GDP to 12 percent from where it is now.

“We should be a productive country and not depend solely on supplies from other countries, including ordinary toothpick.

“Growing and manufacturing of some products that are locally made, in doing that he is growing the economy, if that is where he’s looking out, then it is good.”

On dredging the Calabar sea port, he explained that this has been long overdue because of the economic opportunities that would be created in the area of exports.

He added, ‘We have been long expecting the kind of president that will take the bull by the horn, the decentralization of the Lagos port, will further create job, if he plans to dredge the port, then some categories of vessels will be depositing through Calabar port.

“This will further increase the GDP, it will further create employment, if that is what he’s looking at, his achievement of the 12 percent GDP rise annually is visible and achievable.”

Godwin urged Nigerians to always hold politicians accountable for the campaign promises.

“There’s no institutions set aside to hold politicians that are elected to account of their manifesto,” he added.

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