Dr. Muda Yusuf, the esteemed CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, delivered a compelling analysis at the 19th All Nigeria Editors Conference on November 15, 2023, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. His presentation, titled ‘Stimulating Economic Growth, Technological Advancement: Role of the Media,’ not only delves into the intricate challenges shaping Nigeria’s economic landscape but also illuminates the opportunities that lie within.
Nigeria grapples with a myriad of economic concerns, including soaring prices, depreciating currency, illiquidity in the foreign exchange market, high interest rates, and trade costs. Dr. Yusuf, however, skillfully identifies the silver lining in every crisis, urging investors to strategically navigate and capitalize on the dynamic economic terrain.
Emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between a robust economy and a thriving media sector, Dr. Yusuf articulates how a healthy economy stimulates investment, prosperity, and an increased demand for media services. He underscores the need for a meticulous examination of economic fundamentals to achieve this symbiosis.
The presentation meticulously dissects the prevailing economic conditions, tracing them to a legacy of weak macroeconomic fundamentals. Dr. Yusuf acknowledges the pains of ongoing reforms but highlights their necessity to salvage the economy, using statistical evidence such as the surge in national debt and the depreciation of the exchange rate to paint a stark picture of the challenges that prompted these reforms.
Transitioning seamlessly to the role of the media in shaping economic discourse and fostering good governance, Dr. Yusuf underscores the media’s responsibility to champion accountability, transparency, and inclusivity. By scrutinizing campaign promises, facilitating public discourse on policy measures, and advocating for a level playing field, the media can be a catalyst for positive change.
Acknowledging the risks and challenges facing the media sector, from ownership influences to economic pressures compromising editorial judgment, the speech emphasizes the pivotal need for financial and human resources, skilled financial analysts, and improved working conditions for journalists to sustain a vibrant and effective media.
Dr. Yusuf concludes by offering a roadmap for economic governance, urging a commitment to quality and contextualized governance principles. He advocates for a stable macroeconomic environment, fiscal consolidation, trade and tariff reforms, and sector-specific strategies for agriculture, industrialization, banking, and the power sector. The speech closes with a nuanced exploration of the opportunities embedded in the current economic crisis, from import substitution to the potential of diaspora remittances.
In navigating the complexities of Nigeria’s economic landscape, Dr. Muda Yusuf’s presentation not only diagnoses the issues but provides a comprehensive prescription for a path forward, highlighting the pivotal role of the media in this transformative journey.