Kingsley Moghalu, the presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), was on Bloomberg News this morning where he proclaimed that the Nigerian economy would get worse if President Muhammadu Buhari was reelected next year. Moghalu attributed this to “a fundamental level of incompetence in the Buhari administration”.
The former deputy governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank said that with Buhari’s regime “politics trumps everything”, with “practical economic thinking scarce”.
Watch the interview here.
Moghalu, with his impeccable technocratic credentials, said what Nigeria needed was technocrats like him in charge and that the country was on its knees due to “incompetent and visionless politicians” running the show. He claimed that the country’s problems were “politically induced”.
Moghalu has degrees in law and a doctorate in international relations from the London School of Economics. He has also worked at the UN and the World Health Organisation. His CV surely looks more impressive on paper than that of the current incumbent.
However, Nigerians should learn from history that the country’s problems have never been a shortage of well-qualified people. This was pointed out here:
Moghalu seems to be offering more of the same in terms of policies, only saying that this time it would be done with “vision” and more competently. He said he was in London to talk to investors. Foreign investment has been flowing into Nigeria since independence, increasing year on year, only for poverty to continue to rise. So the problem is not really the lack of foreign investment. More of it is hardly visionary and would not begin to address the country’s chronic problems.
Moghalu also spoke fleetingly on an “export oriented economy” for Nigeria. This idea is on very shaky ground and Moghalu should know, having worked with the UN in the past. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned in a 2013 report: “Developing and transition economies need to move towards more balanced growth and give a greater role to domestic demand in their development strategies.” The report argues that improving purchasing power in large and populous countries like Nigeria could form a basis for more sustainable growth geared towards a domestic market.