‘Altering economic policies under Buhari in order’

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

He spoke at the backdrop of alleged inconsistency in some of the government economic policies.

Speaking with 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 is not out of place for developing economies to discard policies that are not yielding results 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,” he added

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 jerked up by cost-push effects.

He said: “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 said.

He also disagreed with those Nigerians that believed that the government does not know what it is doing and causing Nigerians great hardship.

According to him, the government is keeping to the strategic implementation plan following the passage of the 2016 Budget.

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

“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.

“There is a lot of thinking going on out there and there are lots of documentations out there to try and show the economic direction we are going. It is unfair to say they don’t know what they are doing. They do know what they are doing.

“Like I said, for policy instrument if you try some and they are not working, you don’t continue to hit your head against it. It is not right to say because you want to be consistent, then you don’t know when you need to change course,” he stated.

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