Professor Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, has said that Nigeria needs a worldview that can help it realize its potential.
Professor Moghalu stated this in Lagos at the 2018 edition of The Bullion Lecture, the annual lecture series of Centre for Financial Journalism (CFJ Nigeria), a training and research organization based in Lagos.
Speaking on the topic “The Wealth of Nations and the Imperative of Economic Transformation”, Professor Moghalu said that “As in individuals, so it is for countries. Those that have well developed worldview, with global strategic intent in a competitive world, tend to perform better than those that don’t”.
He attributed Nigeria’s economic poor performance to lack of this essential worldview, especially lack of economic philosophy. “Nigeria has failed to achieve high-quality economic growth because the country’s economy is managed mostly on an ad-hoc, reactive basis. It is a “survival” economy in which most governments that held political power have had no real economic vision or a strategy to execute such a vision successfully”, Moghalu submitted.
He added that though Nigeria has a national policy on science, technology and innovation, this has practically no impact on Nigeria’s economy, arguing that this is because there is no policy support for moving the products of innovation into the marketplace through mass production and marketing distribution, and because the incentives for innovation are not yet strong enough in intellectual property law and regulation.
He disclosed that patents and other kinds of intellectual property are the engine drivers of knowledge economy.
“The absence of a link between science, commercialized indigenous innovation, and economic and business activity is a fundamental obstacle between Nigeria and a quantum leap to prosperity. This gap is all the more tragic because science and technology is one area in which African countries such as Nigeria can quickly develop global competitive advantage over the Western world and even Asia”.
He further revealed that Nigeria’s economy lacks complexity in the extreme, which is why the country remains the greatest importer of Premium Motor Spirit while it exports crude oil.
Professor Moghalu advocated that Nigeria should have an established worldview; establishment and consistent application of clear economic philosophy of entrepreneurial capitalism in the context of a developmental state, as the guiding framework for the Nigerian economy; constitutional repeal of the Land Use Act that traps wealth of Nigerian citizens in the hands of government choking grip of state bureaucracy; reforming the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation into a partially privatized company; deregulating the downstream petroleum sector; and avoid further foreign loans which has put us back into a debt trap that will mortgage the future generations of Nigeria.