ABOUT MY PROJECT

Introduction

My community development project is tagged, Pragmatic Economists’ Forum (PEF). It was chosen to spur Nigeria’s economic development by providing “pragmatic” solutions to economic problems of Nigeria. The

Objectives include:

  • To tackle Nigeria’s economic problems through policy formulation.
  • To grow an entirely different set of economists in Africa with pragmatic mindsets with a long-term plan of building a new brand of economic action.
  • To eliminate unrealistic economic assumptions.

PROJECT RATIONALE

My community development project is tagged, Pragmatic Economists’ Forum (PEF). It was chosen to spur Nigeria’s economic development by providing “pragmatic” solutions to economic problems of Nigeria. The objectives include:

  • To tackle Nigeria’s economic problems through policy formulation.
  • To grow an entirely different set of economists in Africa with pragmatic mindsets with a long-term plan of building a new brand of economic action.
  • To eliminate unrealistic economic assumptions.

PROJECT RATIONALE

The primary rationale for choosing PEF is evidenced in confused nature of the Nigerian economy.

Theoretically, countries in recession should experience a decline in price and even a price deflation when the recession becomes exacerbated, but reverse is the case in the Nigerian economy that is currently in recession.

The Great Depression of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, where John Maynard Keynes in his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936), advocated for public participation to solve problems of recession and depression caused a revolution in economics: the emergence of Keynesian economics over the Classical economics.

As unique as the economies of the developing countries are, public participation which are expansionary in nature, would exacerbate problems when embarked upon and this calls for the “John Maynards” of Nigeria who have been called economic thinkers, a part of the forum where the thinking job is done.

Mode of Operation

In PEF, regular meetings are held to discuss Nigeria’s economic policies and their impact on the economy. We publish articles to show the efficiencies and inefficiencies of a policy change and own academically pragmatic projects. The plan is to develop substantial workable theories in the future

WORK DONE SO FAR

PEF has organized discussions at Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education and Imo State University both in Owerri, Imo State. The topic was “A Pragmatic Way Out of Recession”.

PROPOSAL:1. It was suggested that the government should communicate with groups or organizations that use violent actions or the threat of violent actions, to further strange goals especially in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. If this is achieved, both parties come to terms, bombings stop, and output of oil increase (hopefully more than the projected 2.2 million barrels per day). This implies more money for the country. Furthermore, diversification should be actualized, pragmatic especially in the agricultural sector. That sector should be made attractive to attract and inculcate youths. In addition, human resource development and management have got to be taken seriously.

2. In the mindset of PEF, recession can be solved if the economy is dis-inflated. How does disinflation occur? It occurs when there is a shift in the supply nature of goods produced. If the government decides to shift from a less elastic curve to a more elastic one, (eg a case of close substitute) the government may have succeeded in disinflating the economy. When disinflation occurs, output expands. This leads to an increase in both the real and nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Hence, recession is solved, since there is a return to a high GDP growth.

3. Nigerian government should spend on viable sectors of the economy; sectors requiring large labour service should be given attention. This is so because it solves the problem of unemployment, also the collective output will be immense. A perfect illustration is the agricultural sector. Innovative programs need to be put in place by the government to foster development. Finally, policymakers must formulate policies that will suit Nigeria’s unique economic system; and not adopting foreign policies that lack feasibility and pragmatism in the country.

4. Entrepreneurial activities should be promoted. This, together with global partnership, can foster sustainable growth and development. In addition, Entrepreneurship Studies in tertiary institutions should be a medium to prepare youngsters as emerging entrepreneurs. On their part, government should provide soft loans to ready entrepreneurs.

5. Adoption of de novo import substitution policies: Taking them serious, and importing just what we need is important and not just what we want. In this regard, the government should adopt fiscal measures (i.e. expansionary fiscal policies) to achieve some of the macroeconomic goals e.g. full employment.
Caveat: these goals tend to conflict with one another, hence fiscal measures must be carried out with caution. Focus is on government spending and tax reduction.
The pragmatic economic thinkers concluded that government spending leads to inflation and sometimes swells government borrowings, thus deficit budget. Proper caution should be taken to avoid inflation and fund borrowed by the government should be shoved into development projects that will eventually yield benefits in the long run. Finally, luxury goods should be taxed heavily.

6. Nigeria needs to be able to feed herself. She should be independent of other countries for food because the economy was once agrarian. That should be revived. Another sphere of concentration must be on export promotion. So many resources lie idle in Nigeria. Others are either underutilized or over utilized. This should be considered.

7. Nigeria needs to adopt the mercantilist methodology to boost exportation. The mercantilist believes very much in export, export, export! Unfortunately, Nigeria imports some raw materials. These can be converted into finished goods and make them available for export, and local consumption. Furthermore, development of infrastructure and skills acquisition training are very essential to development of our economy.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurship Studies in Nigeria colleges should be made more practical. Human resource development remains prime.

Finally, “Economics of Corruption” must be fought. Ministerial appointments and other official portfolios must correspond with academic qualifications and experience based.

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