The Symposium with the theme, “The State of the Nigerian Economy: Issues and Way Forward” took place at the Post Graduate Auditorium on Wednesday, 22nd May, 2024.


The Chief host of the symposium, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Teddy Charles Adias in his remarks while declaring the programme open, said the economy is very critical to the development of the country and urged managers of the national economy to adopt right measures that will increase and raise the standard of living.


He noted that the marginal increase in salary has been eroded by inflation adding that the greatest thing to do occasioned by the current hardship faced by Nigerians is to keep hope alive for better days to come while stating that he is tempted to call a symposium on the fate of the Nigerian Economy.


The Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, FUO, Professor Francis Oluleye in his presentation on the theme of the symposium explored the historical background of the Nigerian Economy with Agriculture as a major contributor to Gross Domestic Product(GDP). He noted that the economic crisis of the country started from the adoption of Structural Adjustment Programme(SAP) by the Ibrahim Babangida led Military Administration which brought to fore economic deregulation, causing rising prices of goods and services


The Dean posited that 20 to 30 percent is a reasonable rate of inflation saying that in the case of Nigeria it is above the threshold.  He hinted that Nigeria experienced the worst rate of inflation in 1995 emphasizing that rising inflation will hurt the economy and people will find it difficult to make ends meet.


Professor Oluleye noted that the current state of the Nigerian Economy is characterized by galloping inflation, exchange rate volatility, mounting internal and external debts, unemployment, exchange rate speculation exacerbated by the removal of fuel subsidy and floating of the naira which have adversely affected the cost of production.


He prescribed price control, reduced demand for the dollar, revisiting and strengthening currency swap agreement, ban on government officials from sending their children overseas for studies, privatization of public refineries, exploring alternative sources of energy, encouraging mechanized farming, SMEs, skills acquisition and capital punishment for public officials found guilty of embezzlement.


Professor Obi Kenneth, an Economist from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka also speaking on the theme, described the economy as the aggregate system of production, distribution and the overall performance of the economy at a given time. Prof. Obi said the economic goal is to have stable price level or realistic stable economic exchange rate stressing that using single macro- economic indicators will not produce stable and realistic results.  He averred that Nigeria is also experiencing global poverty index with over 130 million people suffering from multi- dimensional poverty. According to him, out of that number, 86 million are from Northern Nigeria and about 42% of poor people are rural dwellers.


He said the actual means to access the economy is human capital development, good governance, voice and accountability, political stability, ease of doing business and redistribution of income in favour of the poor to correct income inequality.


Professor Victor E. Oriavwote, HOD Economics Department, FUO in his presentation on the theme noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria and the monetary authorities are using the wrong approach emphasizing that over borrowing is killing the economy while noting that policy implementers should not use monetary policies to settle structural problems. He said the average family size of three persons need at least Five Hundred Thousand Naira to survive in a month.


He recommended that government should address the farmers-herders crisis and improve agricultural production to tackle food scarcity.


On his part, Professor Odio Odama of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, FUO dwelling on the theme said social issues are the controversies plaguing the people and hinted that IMF and World Bank estimates determines the analysis of the economy.

Professor Teddy Charles Adias, Vice Chancellor, FUO declaring the Symposium open.
Professor Felix Oriakhi, HOD Political Science Department, FUO presenting on the theme.
Professor Odio Odama, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, FUO making his presentation
Professor Francis Oluleye, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, expressing gratitude to the VC for approving the symposium and also speaking on the theme

He informed that Nigeria’s economy is largely dependent on oil with no proper revenue management and is characterized by elevated interest rates, high borrowing, inadequate power supply, corruption, ethnic and religious differences, exacerbated food security challenges, limited access to quality education and skills development.

According to Professor Odio Odama, the way forward out of the quagmire is that government should stop using foreigners as consultants to handle projects, place more emphasis on skills development, fight crime and terrorism, update and improve power distribution lines in the country, build modular refineries and stop the importation of petroleum products.

During his presentation from the Sociology perspective, Dr. Lasisi Raimi, the Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre at FUO, highlighted Nigeria’s data problem and underscored the importance of re-conscientizing our societal mindset, especially concerning issues like social security, welfare, and relationships, beginning within families.

Dr. Raimi pointed out the existence of distinct class stratification and raised doubts about the effectiveness of social safety net programs. He urged governments at various levels to initiate social programs aimed at uplifting the impoverished segments of society.

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The symposium went into questions and answer session which featured Professor Ekein, Professor Emmanuel Akpan, Dr Coronation Tokpo, Dr. John Kalama, Professor Okeke, Dr.Ayaowei Esiyan and contributions from students like. Matthew Doubrakemefa among others.


From the Publications Unit