Professor Alege advocates Policy Framework to address Societal Challenges
A Professor of Economics, Philip Olasupo Alege, has advocated the institution of a framework that will lead to appropriate policy advice in response to societal problems. According to him, the world was changing rapidly, factors and means of production were not static, and economies were perturbed by endogenous and exogenous shocks that needed to be addressed.
Professor Alege, a senior faculty in the Department of Economics and Development Studies, Covenant University, gave the recommendation amongst others while delivering the 22nd Inaugural Lecture of the University held on Friday, November 29, 2019.
The inaugural lecturer had in his lecture titled ‘Rethinking the Methodological Approach to Contemporary Macroeconomic Analysis in Nigeria’ showcased his passion for the need to prepare and equip future macroeconomists appropriately in dynamic settings, where everything was susceptible to changes and uncertainties were prominent. He contended that this initiative should be accompanied by evidence-based tools to address macroeconomic policy issues of the future. “It is time to move away from the old tools of analysis in order not to be disrupted,” he asserted.
Among his other recommendations, Professor Alege, who called for a review of the curriculum in macroeconomics, proposed that Covenant University, as the Best University in Nigeria and West Africa, should lead the revolution for a holistic revision of the teaching of Macroeconomics in both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. In his view, that time had come to move away from static, piecemeal and more often single equation approach to a more robust and dynamic view of the future based on the realities of the existence of uncertainties in the modern world.
The inaugural lecturer also urged Covenant University to champion capacity building in the area of Macroeconomic modeling as his exposures around the country and even with citizens of other African countries indicated a gap in capacity building in this area. He noted that the initiative would serve as policy-making factory to Nigerian institutions such as the Central Bank, government agencies, the banking industry, industries, and other research centres. He also canvassed the need to encourage the teaching of mathematics in Secondary Schools.
While appreciating the Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Regents, Dr. David O. Oyedepo, for approving the establishment of the Centre for Economic Policy and Development Research (CEPDeR) in Covenant, Professor Alege disclosed that discussion was in progress with a view to extend its activities to housing the type of capacity building suggested above, which was the establishment of a Macroeconomics Research Laboratory. He averred that since CEPDeR was already gaining commendable recognition within its less than two years of existence, it was expected that the modelling outfit could take-off effortlessly within it.
Earlier in his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Covenant, Professor AAA. Atayero, described the inaugural lecture as a platform for distinguished academics to avail policy makers and the general public with pertinent insights on what turns to make in the country’s development drives to achieve economic growth and development.
With the aid of statistics provided by the World Bank, Professor Atayero noted that since 2015, Nigeria’s economic growth had been low-keyed, with an average of 1.9% growth rate achieved in 2018, and in the first half of 2019 it stabilised at 2%. He added that private consumption was stagnated due to the two-digit inflation rate (11%), which prevailed in the first half of 2019.
He stated that the economic growth achieved in the current year was mostly driven by the service sector, while performance of the industrial sector was mixed, with a projection that the power sector would experience weaker performance and this would impact negatively on the GDP contribution of the manufacturing sector.
“From the World Bank’s perspective, Nigeria’s economic growth is constrained by a weak macroeconomic framework with high persistent inflation, multiple exchange rate windows and forex restrictions, distortionary activities by the central bank, and a lack of revenue-driven fiscal consolidation results,” the Vice-Chancellor stated.
He posited that the issue of rethinking methodological approach to contemporary macroeconomic analysis in Nigeria was a vital contemporary issue to be addressed and Covenant, as a leading global centre of knowledge, remained sensitive and committed to espousing viable pathways towards the country’s aspirations for economic transformation and better quality of life.
Covenant’s 22nd Inaugural Lecture, held in the University’s Chapel, was witnessed by a large audience, which included members of the University Management, the Senate, faculty, staff and students, invited members of the academia, family members of the inaugural lecturer, and other distinguished guests.
To download the Inaugural Lecture, click here.