Kingsley Muoghalu, former presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YDP), has recommended a change in current 1999 constitution for Nigeria’s economy to make progress.
Nigeria entered its economic recession after recording a contraction of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020, according to statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Reacting in a statement on Sunday, Muoghalu said the recession did not come as a surprise, noting however, that the nation’s economic growth requires far-reaching actions in the political system.
He condemned the existing constitution which, according to him, has no incentive to create wealth.
The ex-deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) added that the solution to bringing Nigeria out of the current problems is by restructuring the constitution to true federalism.
“It is no surprise that Nigeria has entered its second severe economic recession in five years since 2015. According to Dr. Yemi Kale, Chief Executive and Statistician-General of Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, Q3 2020 Real GDP contracted for a second consecutive quarter by -3.62 per cent. Cumulative GDP for the first nine months of 2020 stood at -2.48 per cent. This decline was led by the oil sector, which contracted by 13.89 per cent in Q3, while the non-oil sector contracted by 2.51 per cent in the same period,” he said.
“Leading inclusive growth for economic transformation in Nigeria now requires far-reaching actions in the political realm. No amount of “defensive” approaches to economic management, akin to the labors of the mythical Sisyphus, can adequately reverse Nigeria’s worsening economic crisis and put the country on a path to real development if the underlying issues that have created our weak economic framework are not addressed.
“Chief among these structural factors is the urgent need for a constitutional restructuring of Nigeria to true federalism. Nigeria’s economy cannot make real progress as long as it is organized on the basis of the 1999 Constitution.
“The existing constitution contains no incentives to economic production that creates wealth, as it centralizes excessive power in the central government. On the contrary, it creates massive incentives for a “sharing” economy based on earnings from crude oil sales, which belong primarily to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“This in turn creates an embedded incentive to rent-seeking as economic activity, an absence of deep reflection by the political leadership on the nuances of competing economic frameworks as a basis for economic policy, and the commodity dependence that has created frequent economic distress through externally induced oil price shocks. Our distress is now further entrenched with extreme levels of foreign borrowing that have essentially mortgaged the future of Nigeria’s youth.”