By Lucy Nwachukwu & Cecilia Ologunagba
An Economist, Prof. Chika Aliyu has commended the Federal Government on the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (ERGP), as the nation marks Democracy Day.
Aliyu, a Professor of Economics and Researcher in Development Economics said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
Aliyu, who teaches at the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto said that the government did very well by coming up with the economic plan to take the country out of recession.
The ERGP projected that Nigeria will make significant progress to achieve structural economic change with a more diversified and inclusive economy in five key areas by 2020.
The key areas are stable macro-economic environment, agricultural transformation, food security, sufficiency in energy and improved transportation infrastructure.
He, however, advised the government to ensure effective implementation of the plan.
“ The Federal Government has tried but it should do more, even the Anchor Borrower Programme, this is a very good strategy but government should do more to ensure its effective implementation.
“It should do more because the effect of recession is very much, you will have to do something extra; there should be balanced growth strategy.
“You try to touch all sectors through this growth balance strategy, all the players and very soon, the economy will be taken out of recession.
“It should not be in one particular area, it should be a wholesome effort so that there will be a balanced growth strategy.’’
He also commended the government for investing in agriculture.
“For example, my state Kebbi, collaborated with Lagos state in rice production; we have this Anchor borrower programme in the state, CBN supported the programme very well.’’
The don said that the government also did well in the area of fighting corruption.
“ The administration did well, if you look at amount of looted funds recovered, you will really commend this government and performance the index as far as corruption is concerned is improving.
“People are afraid of venturing into corrupt activities. This will free the resources for being utilised by the nation for other productive ventures.
“On a serious note, this regime has tried well and they are in the process of doing better. We hope and pray for the quick recovery of the president so that he can do more works,’’ he said.
Aliyu, however, advised the Federal Government to adopt Islamic Banking and Finance principles, noting that the principles could take the country out of recession.
According to him, the principles are based on hard work, implementation of justice system, good governance, proper sharing arrangement as well as accountability and responsibility.
“If these are fully implemented, most of the social economic ills and turbulence in this era of recession will be a thing of the past, ’’ Aliyu, who is also a Professor of Islamic Economics said.