‘Altering economic policies under Buhari in order’

THE Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, yesterday declared that there was nothing wrong in  President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration changing any of its economic policies.

He spoke against the backdrop of allegations of inconsistency in some of the economic policies of the Federal Government.

Dipeolu told  The Nation, he said that it would be wrong to continue with a non-working policy in the name of being consistent.

According to him, it cannot be out of place for developing economies to discard unproductive policies for new policies.

He said: “Economic policies are not Physics, it is not an exact science and you can check the examples of the East Asia economies. What you find is that governments in those countries try policies but remain open to try another policy if they are not getting the desired result with the first policy.

“There is nothing ultimately wrong if you change a policy when the earlier one is not working. Economy is not like Physics when you say if you send airplane at 500 kilometers per hour from Lagos to Abuja, it must get there in 30 minutes. I think it is important to reflect that policies must be flexible if you are in a developing economy like Nigeria.”

Stressing that the inflation rate in the country has been coming down in the past three months, he said that it will come down very low in next five to six months.

The inflation rate, he noted, was initially raise by cost-push effects.

His words: “But over the last three months, the trend of inflation has been falling. Because inflation is measured annually, the figure will still look large starting from twelve months ago.

“But if you start from three months, the rate is beginning to decline. In the next five, six months, inflation will come down fairly good.”

He disagreed with those citicising the government for not knowing the solution to the economic crisis but inficting hardships on the citizenry.

According to him, the government has kept faith with  its strategic implementation plan following the passage of the 2016 Budget.

He said the plan clearly showed the path the government has been  toeing including the six intervention areas which have 34 priority actions  already being taken.

The adviser said: “I think it is unfair after that hard work to say that the government does not have any economic direction or economic plan. The government does and they are being implemented.

“There is a short-term plan to respond to the immediate needs. And we are already meeting and contemplating on the medium term national plan. Prior to that MTEF has already been done.”

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