Sunday, 18 December 2016

Recession: Are South West Technocrats Flawed?

The ongoing recession currently being experienced by Nigerians has been consistently blamed on Buhari’s action and inactions. However a review of on the cabinet members would be a reveal an overlooked fact: That the members of Buhari’s economic team have an overwhelming number of southwest technocrats!

You may ask of the relationship between the place of origin and the performance of an individual? It does matter a indeed matter a lot. You see an individual’s place of origin dictates his education and orientation.

The first south west technocrat to be linked to a National recession is Olu Falae [Mr. SAP]. He became popularly known as Mr. SAP due to his vehement argument for the Structural Adjustment Programme. Despite how unpopular the programme was, he went against all odds to choke down the unpopular pill down Nigeria’s throat. Olu Falae was the Finance minister at the time of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida [1980’s] and as usual Recession was in the name.

The current crop of southwest technocrat led by Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Yemi Osinbajo and Babatunde Fashola are presently the main arrow heads of the Buhari’s economic team. The trio are yet to show any clue on the job to the Nigerian economic stakeholders. The lack of economic blueprint is bewildering to many as it is now perceived that they may be learning on the job.

The inability of the trio to carry out any concrete steps or make headway is rather painful. More appalling is a comparison between the economic plight of Nigerians under southwest technocrat and South Eastern technocrats. The period of Okonjo Iweala and other Southern Eastern technocrats were a period of boom, both under Obasanjo and Jonathan.

Are South west Technocrats flawed?

The answer is NO.


The inability of south west technocrats to successfully manage the Nigerian economy is not due to any flaw on their part, but a flaw in the Nigerian economy. You see the Nigerian Economy is a capitalist economy and the Awolowo educational system was socialist oriented. Hence the mantra or orientation of a typical south west born economist is tilted toward socialism.

Take a cogent look at the APC manifesto:

Free feeding
Government Jobs
Payment of 5,000 to Graduates
Government giving and giving and giving.
There is little or nothing left for the private sector or policy planning.

Take a quick perusal at the Southwest individual state economies:

Osun over-borrowed for socialist spending. Free food, tablets, jobs.
Ogun [/b]Pays Half salaries to workers which they over employed in line with socialist tendencies.
[b]Ekiti State governor continuously spoon feeds the people with food and other consumables. [Socialist]
Ondo is overburdened with debts due to heavy government spending for socialist spending.
Other south west states face similar challenges also. Lagos is spared due to south East technocrats that have been engaged in the economic planning ministries of the state.

The consistent concentration of South west technocrats on the government’s role has been the flaw repeatedly. The flaw is the result of a Socialist education which needs remediation in the shortest possible time.

The souths East technocrats are generally seen as being ahead of their peers due to their capitalist tendencies. The steps taken by the Anambra state government in cutting tax and in some case removing them in their entirety stands in stark contrast to calls by Adebayo Shittu to increase data tarrif and the likes in response to the ongoing recession.

The dominance of South East technocrats in International institutions such as the world bank and the global banking industry is a testament to their capitalist orientation. And until there is a change in the orientation of south west educational system, the perception of flawed technocrats remains. 

Please this is not a tribal tirade but a factual analysis of the impact of the Awolowo education.

Written By OREVA-OGHENNE ENAKENO EJIRO an economist from the University of Uyo. He is also the founder of [for Every Nigerian].

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