Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, has advised the Buhari government to be more proactive to ensure Nigerians feel its impact. Tinubu said this in a paper he delivered at the Daily Trust dialogue. Represented by a former Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State, Olawale Edun, Tinubu highlighted 8 things the current administration must do to foster growth and development.
He said: “1. We are a populous nation with large, ever-growing cities. We need to provide jobs for this expanding urban population. This means we must press forward with a national industrial policy by fostering strategic industries that will provide employment into the foreseeable future.
2. We need a national infrastructure plan that envisions a coherent and integrated infrastructural grid, as no national economy may grow beyond the capacity of the infrastructure that serves it. This particularly is true of electrical power.
3. We must reject the notion of orthodox economics that governmental balancing of budgets or surpluses are always good. In our case, following this mainstream approach may lead to perpetual stagnation and deter us from the brave steps required to promote true development. In this regard, an immediate opportunity to provide stimulus to the economy while simultaneously alleviating the hardship of retirees and old-age pensioners presents itself, through the comprehensive tackling of outstanding pension payments. While what is needed is a holistic review and reform of the disjointed social security and welfare apparatus, a good place to start would be the clearing up of existing pension arrears and the establishment of a framework for averting their future build-up.
The wider task of comprehensive social security reform would inevitably require a high-level body to review and advise on the harmonization of various initiatives and deductions from workers’ payrolls in the name of welfare, such as pension contributions, national housing fund, national health insurance etc
4. Monetary policy should move toward lower interest rates to make credit is more accessible to business and the consumer. This will spur industrial investment and help us reach more conducive levels of consumer demand. It also will dissuade people from corrupt temptations. The need to pay for homes and other costly items in one lump sum payment is a strong invitation to corruption. For example, if mortgages and credit instruments are more available to the judiciary, jurists would be able to purchase homes, decent care and other items considered the basic amenities of modern life via long-term installment payments that can be met through their salaries. Able to purchase these things properly and thus afforded a comfortable life, jurists would be less vulnerable to improper inducements.
5. The government-backed home mortgage system must be re-structured and land conveyance more streamlined make mortgages and all forms of landed transactions are easier and less bureaucratic. This will increase the wealth of the nation and improve the efficiency of land use. It also opens the door to affordable housing for millions of families now beyond the reach of owning their own homes.
6. Agriculture remains the backbone of the nation. We must help the common farmer by improving rural output and incomes. Here, we must revive an old policy that served us well. We must return to commodity exchange boards which will allow farmers to secure good prices and hedge against loss. An agricultural mortgage loan corporation should be inaugurated to further promote these goals.
7. To achieve better levels of overall governance, we need to re-balance the duties between federal and state governments by giving states more power, authority and resources.
8. Last, Government must be sufficiently bold to begin a process that will ultimately result in a government-backed pension plan for all elderly Nigerians, this is something akin to Social Security which all great nations provide for those of advanced age.”