Vanguard reports that Utomi believes the current crisis would have been avoided if proper policy decisions were made.
Speaking at the 2016 Men Summit at the Catholic Men Organisation of the Holy Family Catholic Church, FESTAC Town in Lagos state on Sunday, September 18, Utomi noted that the attitude of the Buhari government also helped along the recession.
He said if the government had “borrowed money against its assets, devalued early and applied intelligent leadership”, the day would have been saved.
He said: ‘’There is what we call the big man hamburger quotient which economists use to evaluate exchange rate. Macdonald hamburger in London is exactly the way it is in New York. How much naira will it take to produce this hamburger in Lagos and how many pounds will it exactly cost to produce it in London? This is what is called the big man hamburger quotient.
“At that time, the difference in Nigeria’s nominal exchange rate was there and because the major revenue was oil, whose prices had gone down, all that an intelligent leadership needed to do was to borrow against some assets, ensure they continue to fund things, use strong determination to make sure people don’t buy more than what they don’t need because that is part of what happened and ensure that there is confidence in the system so that people will know that the people in charge know what they are doing.
“That would have made people to start transacting normally. But they said how can we devalue? We will not devalue, people who have money and who wanted to bring in money felt that these people are about to make decision that might jeopardise our money tomorrow. So, they didn’t bring it. Even oil companies were not bringing back their receipts and Nigerians who were exporting were not bringing back, so there was a major crisis. Instead of the thing devaluing by 6 percent, it went down to what we are seeing. So it is self-inflicted and quality of leadership.’’
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