• Monday, July 22, 2024
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The idea of free market economy is illusionary – Fashola

Fashola revisits monthly rents, canvasses tenancy regulations re-evaluation

Babatunde Fashola, the immediate past minister of works and housing has said there are no totally free market economies in the world, adding that the idea is “illusionary”.

Fashola, on Wednesday, said this while speaking at the 36th edition of The Platform Nigeria held in Lagos with the theme: “Democracy and the Free Market Economy”.

The event, organised by the Covenant Place, seeks to commemorate Nigeria’s Democracy Day by discussing issues surrounding its efficiency.

Fashola stressed that the thoughts of allowing market forces to determine the economy have consequential effects which would eventually lead to the government stepping in.

“Free market economy is illusionary, government plays a role in ensuring that certain businesses don’t go insolvent,” Fashola said.

“In the ideal market economy, what wants to be seen is the unhindered operations of demand and supply, and in that market, the customer is king and the government does not provide props to support that system,” he added.

The two-time governor of Lagos State said that rice and petrol were cheaper in years back due to certain interventions by the government, asserting that such shouldn’t happened in a free market economy.

Fashola said in many instances in Nigeria, the government has intervened to rescue businesses from collapsing, which is not a hallmark of a free market economy.

“The fact, however, is that some of the strongest apostles of a free market economy are the very first people to reach out to the state as a sovereign to say, ‘come and exercise your power… come and save us’,” he added.

Speaking further, Fashola said developed economies such as the USA and UK after the wake of the COVID-19 had to incentivise their people to cushion its effects, claiming that such derides the idea of a free market.

“When COVID-19 humbled the global economy, all the governments of major economies, if not all, did something or another that was inconsistent with market principles.

“They need to restart the economy. Some printed money, some borrowed money, and put them in terms of grant disbursement and aid,” the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said.

A free market economy is a system where the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market and consumers and producers interact freely without government intervention.

In theory, it promotes competition, innovation, and efficiency but the former governor questioned whether truly or not it’s really practiced.