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HomeHeadlines2024 ART: The ‘Agbado’ Economy For Nigerian Transformation

2024 ART: The ‘Agbado’ Economy For Nigerian Transformation

2024 ART: The ‘Agbado’ Economy For Nigerian Transformation

2024 ART: The ‘Agbado’ Economy For Nigerian Transformation

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2024 ART: The Convener, Bolaji Akinyemi, Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies, Dr Haggai Gutap, Jiti Ogunye, Peter Okafor, Ayokunle Fagbemi, Prof. Eunice Egbuna, Jibrin Musa, Pastor Fisayo Awogbade and others discuss ‘Agbado’ Economy for Nigerian Transformation
on Jan 21, 2024.

*Nigeria needs the right leader­ship to transform the economy to reach its full potential.

*Nigeria has become the capital of poverty and needs liberation – Dr. Bolaji O. Akinyemi

Dr. Bolaji O. Akinyemi, a renowned Christian activist and cleric is the Convener, Apostolic Round Table (ART). Last Thurs­day, he hosted Nigerians to this year’s ‘Roundtable’ which drew experts from different fields.

This year’s Apostolic Round Ta­ble (ART) was themed, ‘Stewards of Nations: Stewarding Monetary Sys­tem of Wealth Creation’. The event which was held at the expansive Wis­dom Arena along Old Lagos-Abeo­kuta Road, was beamed globally through technology. It attracted em­inent clerics and experts of various fields, including monetary economy.

In his opening remark, the chair­man of the occasion, Rev. David Esosa Ize-Iyamu, former presiden­tial candidate of the Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP) in the 2019 presidential election, maintained that for Nigeria to recover econom­ically, it needs leaders with dogged spirit. According to him, if Nigeria booms, Africa will boom.

Ize-Iyamu stressed: “The outcome of the Apostolic Round Table, we hope that if implemented, will lead to the transformation of the nation from the federal to the state levels.

“Nigeria needs the right leader­ship to transform the economy to reach its full potential. It brings pain when we listen to solutions to Nige­rian problems. These solutions had already been proffered in the past, but had been neglected by people in power.

“The key to a new, better and prosperous Nigeria is leadership. We have not become a great nation because of a lack of good leadership. Nigeria was most unfortunate to have a leader who had no vision for the country for eight years. The eight years of the last administration took us back for three decades.”

The Co-Convener, Rev Mrs. Joy Osawaru-Akinyemi, in her presen­tation, used the example of Esther in the Bible, lamenting that today, Nigeria has become the capital of poverty and needs liberation, even as she wondered who, like Esther, would stand for the nation. According to her, Nigerians must gather to decide the way forward, stressing, “the ART is that gather­ing.” She opined that spirituality is of essence, hence every activism, ad­vocacy and education in this regard must be spiritual.

Then came the lecture proper, which was delivered by Dr. Bolaji Akinyemi himself. Using the ‘Ag­bado’ a Yoruba word for corn, as a metaphor, he spoke on the theme, ‘The Role of the Monetary System in Nigeria in Creating Wealth for Citizens’.

He noted that in using ‘Agbado’, he got inspiration for the campaign of President Bola Tinubu, which many Nigerians did not understand and which the government seems to have forgotten as nothing is being done in that direction.

Akinyemi explained the use of money as a means of exchange, touching on Adam Smith and his theory of money. He stressed: “In contemporary times, tangible mone­tary symbols such as currency notes are currently being replaced by in­tangibles such as crypto or digital no­tations. Overall, the basic objective is all about how to transmit value or value transmission mechanism; each new symbol or artifact of value transmission delivers a unique ad­vantage over existing ones in terms of measurements.”

He stated that the monetary sys­tem is akin to ‘Agbado’ system that involves planting and harvest via tillage of the ground, nay, earth; so, by tillage, planting, nurturing/ten­dering and harvest, a single ‘agbado’ generates geometric volume of value in multiples of ‘agbado’ for transmis­sion to end users in a virtuous cycle. From one single ‘agbado’ to a quan­tity that is countable in logarithmic terms.

He stated: “The observed opera­tion of the monetary system in Ni­geria, nay, Africa reveals/suggests a heavy reliance on stockpiles of cur­rency notes as evidence of wealth than the intrinsic monetary value that flows ceaselessly from such cur­rency notes as a basis of financing transactions.

“The prevailing monetary system framework that operates in Africa needs to be disrupted in order for Af­rican countries to catch up with the rest of the world in making finance work for wealth creation. Otherwise, Africa will perpetually trail behind the rest of the world. This conference is about the urgent need to disrupt the existing framework of the mon­etary system, or Africa may lose it forever.”

He explained that in classical terms, the monetary system of an economic jurisdiction is a process that consists of the interplay of the role of active entities involved in the art of creation and circulation of the monetary value of the legal tender currency in a domestic econ­omy. The environment and channels for circulating the monetary value of the currency of an economy, he said, is composed of the structure of the financial sector as the ecosys­tem in which depository financial institutions thrive and the currency issuing statutory entity operate and superintend.

On the Nigeria financial sector structure, Akinyemi stressed: “In Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the depository financial institutions or deposit money banks (DMBs) are the key players in the role of issuing and circulating the monetary value of the legal tender currency in the domestic economy. The duo constitute the architects of the monetary system of the Nigeri­an economy and the attendant role of the monetary system in wealth creation for citizens.

“The CBN plays the pristine role of issuer of the legal tender curren­cy in Nigeria, which is the mone­tary value denominated in Naira and Kobo. The currency so issued is a subsisting liability of the issuing entity and carries no likelihood of its risk ever crystallising in the or­dinary course of business.

“However, the CBN is statutorily obligated to safeguard the domestic and international value of the naira as the legal tender currency in the Nigerian economy. In general, the broad measures of the monetary value of a currency are its purchas­ing power or inflation, interest rate, and exchange rate or its parity with the currencies of other economic jurisdictions in the world.

“The twin impact of interest rate and exchange rate upon an economy provides an indicator of the prevail­ing level of monetary conditions and its implication on domestic econom­ic activity. Ordinarily, inflation is caused by cost-push or demand-pull factors in an economy and these fac­tors could be accentuated by struc­tural factors and the pass-through effects of changes in exchange rate of the domestic currency vis à vis the currencies of other economic jurisdictions.

“The price stability objective of central banks is often focused on at­taining stable optimal levels of each of the triumvirate of inflation rate, exchange rate and interest that is consistent with full employment rate of economic growth. In our experi­ence with the threesome variants of price stability, kobo as the subunit of the monetary value of our cur­rency is no longer used for everyday transactions besides its appearance in quotes of foreign exchange rates.”

He explained that depository fi­nancial institutions or DMBs play the role of deposit takers from cit­izens who desire banking services by establishing a customer-banker relationship with deposit money banks (DMBs). He said that among the roles of the duo of the CBN and DMBs, other players in the financial services value chain, such as Fintech firms, play different intermediary roles in facilitating the transmission of the flow of financial services in the Nigerian economy.

Akinyemi stressed: “How mone­tary system works to rouse the mor­al sentiments of citizens and nudge them to strive for livelihoods is the raison d’être of 2024 ART discourse. Our attempt is to lay out the bare nature of monetary systems and its workings in creating wealth or liveli­hoods for citizens to secure the basic welfare needs required to sustain a lifestyle of happiness in lifespan.

“The process of currency issue exercise and the ensuing efforts to safeguard its value including the services provided by deposit-taking entities is encrusted with the frac­tional reserve banking framework. As a result, the monetary system of an economy works through the fractional reserve banking frame­work, which creates a statutory link between the policy instruments of central banks and the deposit base of depository financial institutions or deposit money banks, DMBs.

“Fractional reserve banking is a process that creates a sustainable flow of financial credit facilities or loanable funds that permeate the economy to finance transactions in the domestic economy and with the rest of the world. This is basically all about the flow of financial credits that enables citizens to finance the production and exchange of goods and services in the economy.

“The key driving anchor of the workings of monetary systems in an economy is a policy instrument in an exclusive ambit and purview of cen­tral banks called cash reserve ratio, CRR, often expressed as a percentage point. The key players in the finan­cial markets that affect how mone­tary systems work are central banks and depository financial institutions or DMBs.”

According to him, the wealth of an economy simply consists of farm output and manufactured goods together with the labour it took to produce them. He maintained that the creation of wealth in a nation is squarely dependent upon the labour force participation rate and the con­comitant financing opportunities delivered by the monetary system in the domestic economy.

“Hence, the labour force partici­pation rate and the prevailing credit flows are potentials that constitute the productive capacity of the econ­omy, which are ordinarily iterated by a myriad of processes and fac­tors analogous to the production of maize, ‘agbado’, on a farm land.

“Regrettably, the surfeit of labour and credit, in both quantity and quality dimensions, in Nigeria are hamstrung by glaring absence of firm legal cum fiscal frameworks re­quired to unleash the inert produc­tive capacity of the domestic econo­my to create wealth for a virtuous cycle of sustainable prosperity in the walk cum work in life of citizens, and also residents.

“Finally, money unlike life is a cre­ation of man, while life in whatever forms it’s found; organisms, plants or animals are creations of God as a gift of nature. Life by the ‘Eco-sys­tem’ is designed to depend on nature for its survival or sustainability. It’s a wrong economic concept to make life depend on money. Rather, money should depend on life.

“To generate more value in mon­etary terms, we simply have to cre­ate more life at the base level; i.e. be fruitful and multiply and replenish (to prosper) the earth.

“The bail out for Africans is the inescapable, but compelling need to handle money as a ‘seed’ from which to generate wealth in the nation rath­er than treating money as wealth in itself.

“We must recognise and learn from the intrinsic value that is cryptic in organic seed and farming in order to replicate it in the opera­tion of our monetary system. Thus, prompting the need to upgrade the seed concept to a digital economic level where ‘AgbadoCoin’ can outdo Bitcoin in digital fintech.”

The panel of discussants, who were carefully picked from various fields and different geo-political zones, included Dr Haggai Gutap, Prof Funmi Adesanya-Davies, Jiti Ogunye, Peter Okafor, Prof. Eunice Egbuna, who joined virtually, Jibrin Musa, Pastor Fisayo Awogbade and Ayokunle Fagbemi.

They took time to expatiate on Akinyemi’s lecture, explaining that Nigeria must put more emphasis to agriculture if it must prosper.

They lamented the inability of the Federal Government to have functional refineries, instead of the current system of selling crude oil cheaper to foreign countries and importing the petroleum products at higher costs, stressing that this has to stop If the country will move forward.

They also stressed the need to provide the youths with quality and vocational education so that they can reach their potentials in the interest of the nation and that efforts should be made to discourage brain drain.

At the end of the event, partic­ipants felt satisfied that the topic had been given excellent treatment, while the organisers informed that the paper to be produced from the conference would be forwarded to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to guide the administration in the much-needed transformation of the country.

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