A Consultant to the World Bank, Olu Ajakaiye, has said President Muhammadu Buhari, and subsequent governments in the country must develop Nigeria, even if it meant stealing ideas from other countries.
Ajakaiye, who is also President of Nigerian Economic Society, stated this in his keynote address at the 2017 edition of The Bullion Lecture organised by the Centre for Financial Journalism.
According to him, many first world nations have stolen their way to development.
He said the government must not leave development for the markets to handle, but combine all instruments, positions, variables and policies to drive growth and development.
Ajakaiye said: “Let us, therefore, not be under any illusion and say the market will do it. They have to make sure they provide the market, whatever it takes, including stealing from other countries.
“The developed systems that we have now were as a result of resources taken from here, and they are ahead. Their government didn’t say we would be nice guys, we would not go and steal. They carried our people, young people, valuable people, and they now established the first world.”
Ajakaiye dissected Buhari’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, and applauded it as a good plan, if properly implemented and funded according to targets.
The development economics specialist said the ERGP had set out 21 clear programmes, with 60 strategies and 365 key activities, which had been assigned to lead agencies across the public and private sectors.
He said N75.03 trillion will be needed to implement the plan, which runs from 2017 to 2020.