Shortage of manpower development major impediment to plan implementation – Prof Ebere Onwudiwe …Lauds former WAIFEM DG on contributions to Nigeria’s economy

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Shortage of manpower development major impediment to plan implementation – Prof Ebere Onwudiwe

.Lauds former WAIFEM DG on contributions to Nigeria’s economy

By Udeme Clement

Dignitaries at the lecture, held in University of Uyo:

“Nigeria’s second development plan, 1970–74, noted that the major impediment to plan implementation was inadequate absorptive capacity due to shortage of skilled manpower”, said,  Prof. Ebere Onwudiwe.

Onwudiwe, said this while delivering a lecture on the topic, Some Policy Options for Sustained Economic Growth’, at Prof. Akpan Hogan Ekpo, second Annual Lecture, held at University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

According to Onwudiwe, “This was caused by limited funding of human resource development, including health and education.  Thus, that Nigeria does not invest adequately in individuals who constitute her workforce precedes Gates observations.

“What is also true is that human capital, or the aggregate knowledge embodied in the country’s workforce continues to be inadequate for Nigeria’s economic growth.  Indeed, studies show that many relevant indices of human development, especially those of health and education – are embarrassingly low in Nigeria.

“Undeniably, a healthy population is the precursor for sound human capital.  The first question then is, just how healthy are Nigerians”.

Onwudiwe explained, “From 2014 to 2018, to be precise, we saw the trajectory of Nigeria’s economy and the determinants of its booms and bursts. In 2014, we experienced a boom with growth rate at 6.22 per cent.

“This was due to hike in oil prices that stood at an average of $99.26pb and peaked at a whopping $116pb at a stable average production of 1.91mbpd”.

Prof. Onwudiwe explained,  “The next year in 2015, we had a sharp decline in our fortunes, as the great numbers plummeted from 6.22 percent to 2.79% percent due primarily to severe commodity shock as the average oil prices plunged to $53pb and ended the year at $36pb at a relatively stable production level of an average of 1.86mbpd.

“However, dependence on oil is not exclusively to blame for Nigeria’s reversal of fortunes in 2015. Protectionist policies of the administration led to some currency crisis leading to the employment of capital controls and bans on 41 items of imports.

“Nigeria had 16 years of negative per capita growth between 1961 and 2017.  But growth in the entire period did not all head south. Some of the drivers of the direction of growth can be discerned from our latest economic history.

“In recent years, from 2014 to 2018, to be precise, we can see the trajectory of Nigeria’s economy and the determinants of its booms and burst. In 2014, we experienced a boom with growth rate at 6.22 per cent. This was due to hike in oil prices that stood at an average of $99.26pb and peaked at a whopping $116pb at a stable average production of 1.91mbpd.

“The next year in 2015, we had a sharp decline in our fortunes as the great numbers plummeted from 6.22 percent to 2.79% percent due primarily to severe commodity shock as the average oil prices plunged to $53pb and ended the year at $36pb at a relatively stable production level of an average of 1.86mbpd. However, dependence on oil is not exclusively to blame for Nigeria’s reversal of fortunes in 2015. Protectionist policies of the administration led to some currency crisis leading to the employment of capital controls and bans on 41 items of imports.

“The hammering from the steep drop in oil prices, negative international reactions to protectionist policies of the federal government did not exhaust the problems of Nigeria’s economy in 2015. There was the insolvency of 27 state governments with heavy salary arrears across the country.  Add this to inexplicable long delay in putting a cabinet in place by the Buhari administration during that period. All these preceded the events of 2016 when 4 quarters of negative growth’ (16 growth rate was -1.58%) led to recession”.

On the whole, he commended Prof. Akpan Ekpo, who is the immediate past Director General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management  (WAIFEM), on his enormous contributions to Nigeria’s economy in areas of Finance, education, capacity building and other sectors of the economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigeria had 16 years of negative per capita growth between 1961 and 2017.  But growth in the entire period did not all head south. Some of the drivers of the direction of growth can be discerned from our latest economic history.

In recent years, from 2014 to 2018, to be precise, we can see the trajectory of Nigeria’s economy and the determinants of its booms and burst[1]. In 2014, we experienced a boom with growth rate at 6.22 per cent. This was due to hike in oil prices that stood at an average of $99.26pb and peaked at a whopping $116pb at a stable average production of 1.91mbpd.

The next year in 2015, we had a sharp decline in our fortunes as the great numbers plummeted from 6.22 percent to 2.79% percent due primarily to severe commodity shock as the average oil prices plunged to $53pb and ended the year at $36pb at a relatively stable production level of an average of 1.86mbpd. However, dependence on oil is not exclusively to blame for Nigeria’s reversal of fortunes in 2015. Protectionist policies of the administration led to some currency crisis leading to the employment of capital controls and bans on 41 items of imports.

The hammering from the steep drop in oil prices, negative international reactions to protectionist policies of the federal government did not exhaust the problems of Nigeria’s economy in 2015. There was the insolvency of 27 state governments with heavy salary arrears across the country.  Add this to inexplicable long delay in putting a cabinet in place by the Buhari administration during that period. All these preceded the events of 2016 when 4 quarters of negative growth (FY’ 16 growth rate was -1.58%) led to recession.

[1] Information for the analyses of this section is from Bismarck Rewane, “Nigerian Economy in Perspective 2019 – Dysfunctional Policies and Structural Rigidities” LBS Alumni Day Lecture, November 15, 2018

 

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