DEPUTY Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) (Financial System Stability), Dr Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, has said that the nation’s economic performance had been rather weak.
He stated this on Saturday in a lecture delivered at the Golden Jubilee ceremony of the pioneer graduates of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).
Moghalu regretted that Nigeria’s economic performance does not reflect its endowments.
“With a population of 170 million people, Nigeria is generously endowed with human, physical and natural resources.
“The country is ranked the 6th largest producer of crude oil and also has the 6th largest gas reserves in the world.
“ It also has very significant reserves of solid minerals which remain undeveloped. The country is richly endowed with about 34 different types of solid minerals in commercial quantities in about 450 locations across the country.
“Regrettably, Nigeria’s economic performance had been rather weak and does not reflect the country’s economic performance,” he stated.
He noted that other emerging economies, in particular Malaysia, South Korea, China and India who were behind or at the same economic pace with Nigeria in terms of growth in industrial production in the 1960s and 1970s have transformed their economies.
According to him, “these countries are not only far ahead of Nigeria but are major players in world economy today.
“Between 2005 and 2010, the average growth in industrial production for China, India, Brazil and Malaysia was 16.0, 8.0, 3.6, and 2.5 percent, respectively while Nigeria recorded only 2.1 percent.”
On the present dwindling state of the nation’s educational sector, he said the situation “ needs to be urgently addressed if the country must evolve into a knowledge economy and attain its goals of economic transformation.”
In his speech, Professor Bartho Okolo, Vice chancellor of UNN, stated that the 2013 Founders’ Day celebration was unique, because it was the first time the university was recognising its first set of graduates.
The UNN boss had used the forum to call on wealthy and corporate organisations, as well as alumni of the institution to come to his administration’s financial aide.
Professor Okolo, who listed some ongoing capital projects embarked upon by his administration, said paucity of funds had remained one of his greatest challenges in delivering the goods.
He said though, despite all odds, his administration would continue to do its best in taking the university to the next level.
Highlight of the colourful event was presentation of souvenirs to the pioneer graduates who were members of the class of 1963.
Economy is healthy —Okonjo-Iweala
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has debunked claims that the economy is in a comatose state.
Okonjo-Iweala who spoke at the Independence Anniversary lecture organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) over the weekend, challenged anyone with contrary information about the economy to come out for a debate.
“The micro economy is stable, the economy is doing well. We may experience cash flow problem, that does not mean the economy is in problem. Nigeria is an asset rich country and its economy remains strong. If we are not doing well, people will not be coming to invest in the country,” she said.
The Minister pointed out that President Goodluck Jonathan and his cabinet members are not losing sleep over the nation’s problem adding that the present challenges are not peculiar to Nigeria.
“We are not an island. Some of the problems we are facing are not strange. Even South Africa is battling with unemployment, and the government is fighting hard to salvage the situation. We are progressing and developing. There are a lot of emotional statements doing the rounds. Some people are saying Nigeria’s economy is comatose. If the economy is comatose, where did Dangote see money to invest in refinery? If the economy is comatose, the private sector would be carrying placards by now,” she said.
However, the President of LCCI, Mr Goodie Ibru noted that the Nigerian economy has undergone major transformation over the decades. “We have seen remarkable developments in the telecommunications sector, the entertainment industry, the manufacturing.
However, the economy is still too dependent on oil and gas; weak in domestic production and local value addition.
“The diversification of the economy has become imperative and compelling. Disproportionate reliance on natural resources exposes the economy to tremendous risk of shocks and vulnerability,” he said.
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