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Continuation from: “Chartered Accountants versus Economists

Continuation from: Chartered Accountants versus Economists

By Bashorun J.K. Randle

ix) It should be noted that the plan marked the very first attempt to express a social philosophy that should guide the plan.

x) In conclusion, the free market economic system favours the few at the expense of the many. It also develops the economy itself at a slower pace than where the government plays a role.

xi) There is therefore an umbilical link between the economic system and socio-political philosophy. And since World War 1 when there was a dispute over which economic system should prevail, the German or the British, global powers have advocated for the variant that maximises their benefit.

xii) As a consequence, the philosophies keep evolving. There are several variants I have not mentioned, but let me flag two divergent thinking and practice; (a) the new classical economics with monetarism, and (b) socialism with Chinese characteristics, arguably the most transformative of the lot.

xiii) My observation is that Nigeria under PBAT (President Bola Ahmed Tinubu) has adopted the neo classical approach with monetarism. I could be mistaken.

xiv) We seem to ignore the fact and reality that there is a new player in town – BRICS consists of : Brazil

Read also: Chartered Accountants versus Economists

Russia

India

China

South Africa

Egypt

Ethiopia

Iran

And the United Arab Emirates

and new rules are being established.

I apologise for the length of this piece, but we are sharing thoughts and increasing awareness and thus understanding. There are currently three power economies in Africa: Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa. Two are in BRICS+, the other is nowhere, not in G7, not in G20.

xv) Having stated all that, there are many foreign interests who need to keep exploiting Africa in order to enjoy their economic prosperity and maintain their political superiority.

xvi) In addition, recent events have eroded their moral authority because of the differentiated and hypocritical response to global events:

17) Condemn Russia for killing Ukrainians but support killing by Israel of many more people – tens of thousands of Palestinians especially women and children;

18) Condemn Russia for invading its neighbour which justifies this on security needs that it doesn’t want an enemy military organisation there but justify USA & British invasion of Iraq, separated from them by long distances and the sea;

19) Encroachment into African economic activities e.g. the Uganda-Tanzania oil pipeline was condemned in the EU Parliament although it will generate revenue to the African owners of the oil and the transit country.

20) If security can be achieved in Nigeria, it’s safe to predict the economy will recover, irrespective of the economic system used.

21) Conclusion: Let’s adapt the Lee Kwan Yew mantra – it’s what works, not economic theories.”

On its front page, “The Guardian” newspaper published the damning verdict delivered with feisty brutality by Francis E Ogbimi:

“Economists, accountants and bankers do not understand how the economy works. They lack a sense of history and do not understand the science of sustainable economic growth, industrialization and development. They are only good at sustaining abstract and irrelevant arguments about the economy. Africa will stagnate as long as economists and related institutions like the World Bank and IMF continue to influence (the) planning in the continent.”

Read also: Continuation from: “Chartered Accountants versus Economists

In crafting economic policy, the least we can do is to recognise that there are actually four distinct pillars:

(i) Economic theory

(ii) Applied economics

(iii) Economic history

(iv) And, most importantly: COMMON SENSE!

For Chartered Accountants who insist on accountability, transparency and discipline, there is a huge mountain to climb especially when they insist on balancing the budget and following the money (the audit trail).

The economists are ever ready to throw in micro-economic framework and macro-economic postulations as proof positive that all will be well. Lord Maynard Keynes (1883 to 1946) argued that governments should solve problems in the short run rather than wait for market forces to fix things over the long run because: “In the long run, we are all dead.”

For very good reasons, the press has opted to keep above the fray and the fierce tussle for supremacy. Instead we have the following vignettes:

(i) “ThisDay” newspaper front page report.

Headline: “THE GARDEN OF THE PROPHET:

The late Lebanese-American poet and philosopher, Kahlil Gibran captured the Nigerian tragedy so succinctly in his poem:

“Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.
Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave
and eats bread it does not harvest.

Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.

Pity a nation that despises a passion in its dream, yet submits in its awakening.

Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except among its ruins, and will rebel not save when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.

Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking

Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting,
and farewells him with hooting, only to welcome another with trumpeting again.

Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strongmen are yet in the cradle.

Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.”