Revenues, no matter how you share them, will not make anybody rich. The only thing that makes people rich is production. If you don’t produce, you are dead.
Pat Utomi, a professor of political economy in Nigeria, has slammed the Nigerian government for not increasing the rate of production in the country, but instead focusing on receiving and sharing monthly allocations.
Utomi said this during the seventh edition of a Capacity Development Summit in Ibadan on Wednesday, while asserting that Nigeria, because of its inability to produce and manufacture what is needed in the country, is a time bomb waiting to explode.
He called for a shift from the reliance on oil, and advocated whole diversification of the economy.
Utomi said: “It’s all about production, output. We are still relying too much on crude oil prices to determine the direction of our economy and that is not good. There is very little we can do to control the direction of pricing of crude oil.
“One of the dangers of what has happened to us in Nigeria is that over the years we have focused on revenue and how to share revenue.
“Revenues, no matter how you share them, will not make anybody rich. The only thing that makes people rich is production. If you don’t produce, you are dead.
“Inequality does not give you progress. It invariably brings you to a certain blowing point, which is where Nigeria is. This country is a time bomb waiting to explode. How do you deal with inequalities?”
The professor of political economy commended the Nigerian government for the implementation of the Economic Growth Recovery Plan (ERGP), but noted that a strategy premium model must be put in place to enable it yield the expected result.
“There isn’t a national strategy that I can say. If you develop a tactical thing which is the EGRP that says, what we should do with this and that sector, where everybody is making their own policy.
“Where are we going? Do we want to be the leading producer of product X in the world in 25 years? I don’t see a policy that is saying that to me.
“But, this might just be somebody from the outside looking in. Maybe those who know have not communicated it in a way someone like me, with limited capacity, can understand.”