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Economist counsels FG on advice by international monetary bodies

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By Asmau Ahmad

An economist, Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, has advised the Federal Government against ‘blindly’ accepting all the prescriptions of international monetary institutions in the quest to reposition the nation’s economy.

Unegbu told the News men in Abuja that rather, the nation’s economic managers should rely more on its economic environment in fashioning out economic policies and programmes.

Unegbu said that experience had shown that some economic recipe from IMF and the Word Bank had not yielded the desired results, particularly in developing countries.

He said this was evident in Nigeria’s economy where he said, in spite of Federal Government religiously following their prescriptions, the economy had failed to hit the desired heights.

According to Unegbu, some of the advice such as naira devaluation had become ‘old-fashioned’.

“We should totally depend on proper study of the structures of the Nigerian economic environment and not the IMF or World Bank.

“As far as I am concerned, IMF or World Bank has failed the world economies and should be scrapped and new bodies formed where our voices would be heard.

“They have especially failed the concept of the new world economic body which includes circumstances of the developing world economy.

Unegbu, therefore, called on the CBN and the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to focus internally on solutions that would improve the country’s economy.

“Let us form a new institution that will benefit us. But in the immediate term, all we need to do is that the government must go back and ensure the diversification of the economy.

“It should continue selling all those things they had earlier acquired such as land. If they sell those things they will generate money to invest in the right areas and help us to boost the value of naira.

“Our naira has continued to depreciate because for so long we depended so much on oil. We must declare a state of emergency in the nation’s financial sector,’’ he said.

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