Beyond LP, SDP’s’ buffet-mentality economics 

“Economic policy can change the fate of a people and the country…” – Paschal Bafyau

A credible counsel on economic reform shouldn’t be constructed on the axis of ideological hazard or a futile cognitive dissonance that is already shaping the mental model of those political actors who always felt their understanding of contemporary economic system is superior to whatsoever President Bola Tinubu has for the moment. Alas, whether big or small, this government cannot afford to fail or cringe at every perception that emanates from a faulty cartography of economic or political thought.

The duty of statecraft is not for the armchair critic who conducted economic analysis on a wire gauze of prolonged moral draught that desiccated rational thinking over the philosophy of progressive politics. Stability in policy implementation and reforms has continued to help PBAT guard against the apostles of single factor explanation that hinges on one indecisive cause. 

The government cannot be manipulated by perceptual predispositions held by Prince Adewole Adebayo, SDP presidential candidate in his interview published by Daily Sun newspaper on February 28, 2024, “Tinubu’s Economic Policies Wrong”. Similarly, ThisDay Newspaper reported through Sunday Ehigiator, under the headline, ” Peter Obi: Increase in MPR,CRR will further worsen Nigeria’s Economy”, Friday, March 1, 2024.

SDP and LP presidential candidates both have a hallow proposal for a new Nigeria. PBAT’s policies didn’t seek the economic challenges the country is facing at the moment, this is because we didn’t meet a perfect economic system. The architecture of Renewed Hope economic reforms underscores the features of legitimacy as we uphold the virtues of prosperity from a type of zeitgeist that seeks for a radical policy implementation, rather than constantly giving sheer attention to pseudo-mensheviks or indulging in the business of attribution biases. We are running a multi-party democracy from both the executive and legislative focal points. I disagree with the SDP presidential candidate that we are running a one-way government, this desserts is plain and too cold, the bowls and cutleries should also be changed. 

The Tinubu-Shettima dispensation will continue to remain a standard bearer in applied macro-economics, similarly in the management of policy reform. Nigeria is not the first country that took bold steps towards a radical economic perestroika, we will not be caught off guard by what LP or SDP may see as the revenge of history or what the two professors, Acemoglu and Robinson, called “Drifting Apart” (See: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, 2013). 

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in one of its papers predicted the current state of affairs in Argentina, that, a maxi-devaluation of the peso in December 2023, cuts to subsidies and an end to price controls will lead to an inflationary spike in 2024, which later happened. But what Prince Adewole (SDP) didn’t bring into consideration is the disparities in between. 

President Alberto Fernandez is a different ball game from President Buhari. Argentina was already running into crisis with a bloated fiscal deficit under Fernandez and the failure to manage Post-covid economic reconstruction was one of the reasons that set the stage for President Milei’s economic woes. The biggest drop in the country’s GDP history (19%) occurs in Q2 of 2022 under Fernandez. 

For example when Argentina was battling with financial crisis from 2020, that was when the 2023 State of Global Food and Nutrition Security report claims there has been a 133% increase in food insecurity among Nigerians in just three years. Between 2020 and 2022, the number increased from 63.8 million in 2014 to 148.7 million in 2022. Under PBAT from 2023 Growth in Nigeria is projected at 3.3 per cent in 2024 and 3.7 percent in 2025. Inflation is expected to decline marginally balancing the effects of reforms, policy actions, external pressures, and food prices while fiscal sustainability concerns may remain slightly elevated given debt servicing costs.

Prince Adewole agreed in his interview that PBAT has the right kind of team for what he wants to do. Adewole’s disquiet was, “what he (PBAT) wants to do isn’t correct”. May be that’s why the LP Presidential candidate also noted via his X handle, ” I am of the strong opinion that the recent decision of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to increase the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) to 22.5 per cent and the Cash Reserve Ratio to 45 percent will further worsen the economic situation of most Nigerian households…what the Nigeria economy needs now is hard headed practical originality and results. Tinkering with classical economic theories can only deepen our crisis”.

I can’t imagine bringing the above contrapositive analogies under the convex mirror of O’Kane’s work, “Politics and Morality Under Conflict” that, a moral statement can sometimes be falsified logically by factual statement in a modus tollens argument. One of the most difficult problems confronting conservative thinkers has been how to explain the actual occurrence of radical changes in idea, or even in societies…. this problem leads to an unfortunate tendency for some conservatives to seek explanation for radical change merely in terms of some kind of intellectual aberration.

Saidu Ahmed is special assistant, research & strategy to the minister of information and national orientation