Economic Expert Tasks Tinubu On Adherence To National Devt Plan 2021-2025

Chairman, Polar-Afrique Consulting, Dr.Chris Osiomha Itsede

*Says War In Niger Could Have Long Economic Consequences

An economic expert and the Executive Chairman of Polar-Afrique Consulting, Dr.Chris Osiomha Itsede, has charged President Bola Tinubu to leverage on the National Development Plan 2021-2025, and the perspective plan Nigeria Agenda 2050 that were both developed and launched by the previous administration to boost the economy.

Itsede, who was the pioneer Director General of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, (WAIFEM), gave the advice during an interview on Saturday in Abuja.

He said: “This government can hit the ground running by effectively implementing the robust policies and programs articulated in the plans. Of course, it would be at liberty to tweak and fine-tune some policy and programs areas to align them with emerging realities.

“My advice to the President is to stick to the National Development Plan, agenda 2050

“Fortunately, the Tinubu administration has its job cut out for it in the National Development Plan 2021-2025, and the perspective plan Nigeria Agenda 2050 that were both developed and launched in the twilight of the previous administration”.

Speaking on the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, to the Nigerian economy, he said like in every game of sport, countries may benefit from AfCFTA to the extent of their preparation to effectively play on the continental unified economic space that is under construction.

Itsede said: “As Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria can leverage the continental trade bloc to further unlock its economy through the massive trade and investment opportunities outlined in the various sectorial protocols being signed under AfCFTA.

“To get its handle squarely on AfCFTA, the Tinubu administration should urgently constitute a committee of experts from MDAs, organized private sector, consultants, CSOs, and academia to articulate a Country Strategy and actionable recommendations for engagement with AfCFTA”.

The expert also urged the Tinubu led administration not to resort to armed intervention in the Niger crisis as the economic impact on the nation would be enormous.

He said: “It is immeasurable! Make no mistake about it. For Nigeria, there will be enormous short and long term economic and social consequences of a military invasion of Niger Republic by ECOWAS.

“War would cause a dislocation to the centuries old cultural, social, and economic integration of Nigeria and Niger which predate colonial rule and ECOWAS itself.

“For instance, the Nigeria-Niger treaties of 1964 and 1980 on managing the water and other resources of the River Niger are in peril.

“What is more, the intercontinental gas pipeline Nigeria plans to use in the shipment of gas to Europe via Algeria would transverse thousands of kilometers through Nigerien territory.

“Meanwhile, the poor and vulnerable in both countries are reeling from even the limited sanctions imposed on Niger in the wake of the coup.

“A shooting war would entail stupendous costs to economic activities in both countries, set in motion hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing from the conflict areas, and exacerbating the extant humanitarian quagmire on the borders of both countries.

“My advice to the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS is to explore diplomacy to resolve the Nigerien matter.

“Do NOT resort to armed intervention. It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.

“By the way, virtually all wars end up being settled on the round table peace conference, therefore, go to the peace table and talk things out. No war, please, don’t fight.”

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