Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Oct 15, 2017 19:00:43 GMT 1
BY LATE PROFESSOR ESKOR TOYO
Nigerian economy has suffered terribly more than before because of mismanagement and lack of knowledge and wisdom to apply the correct antidotes that will spore-up the economy from its present pathetic position. There is wisdom in the sayings or opinions of the old if found appropriate and well applied. A trip to the archives discovered the opinion expressed by Professor Eskor Toyo of blessed memory, Professor of Economics at the University of Calabar in 1988 about Planned Economy as it related to Nigeria then.
On the face of it, self- governing Nigeria has now had several so-called national development plans1. We have had the 1962-68, 1970-74, 1975-80, and 1981-85'plans'. Does the existence of these documents make the Nigerian economy a planned one as such 'distortions' after twenty-five years of the so-called planning is conclusive evidence that the economy is not a planned one.
Is the Nigerian economy really a planned one or not?
The answer is that it is not, it is vital to distinguish between the state capitalism, economic programming and economic planning. State capitalism is a complex structure, institutions and policies by which a bourgeois state facilitates the development of capitalism. This implies a distinction between desirable and undesirable states and courses of the economy and the use of resources and instruments to try to induce the desired state and courses. Today, some programming is used in many capitalist countries to buttress state capitalism. However, state monopoly capitalism existed from about 1890 without programming to the end of World War II when in Western Europe it adopted programming.
Economic programming is the exercise in which a formal medium - term or long-term development programme is made, but the programme is addressed to institutions which are not obliged1 to carry them out.
“Today, some programming is used in many capitalist countries to buttress state capitalism. However, state monopoly capitalism existed from about 1890 without programming to the end of the World War II when in Western Europe it adopted programming”
Part of the programme depends entirely on the capitalist market over which they have no decisive control. Economic planning consists of the making of long-term programmes as well as annual plans on the national economic, sectoral and enterprise levels in which the execution of these plans or programmes is obligatory on the units that are supposed to execute them. In socialist practice the programmes are made obligatory not only by being passed into law but also by incentive and punitive managerial devices which reward plan fulfillment and penalize nonfulfillment, as well as by the state mobilizing resources to ensure actual fulfillment.
The last is possible because the plan is worked out with scientific realism and the state itself owns the decisive means of production and distribution
Planning requires that the structure and scope of saving and investment, the determination of aggregate supply and demand for money, the determination of the structure and dimensions of supply and demand for the main physical goods and services, the setting of prices, and the shaping of the volume and structure of imports and exports must be decided by the planner. For this to be the case, the so-called 'commanding heights' (large and medium industrial enterprises, transport and communication, foreign trade, wholesale distribution and power generation) must be in the hands of the state. This ensures that the plan's requests will be executed and the desired proportions of the national economy realized within small margins of error.
It is not the case that Nigerians do not know how to plan on paper. Still less is it the case that Nigerian plans are defective and go awry because we are 'planning without facts.' After all, czarist Russia was a very backward country with no lorects available to Soviet necessarily a fact gathering apparatus. Planning succeeds in the socialist drive because the elements of science, social ownership and control of resources, the eradication of bourgeois ambition, particularism and indiscipline, the conscious revolutionary involvement of the people for whose self - improvement the plan is unequivocally designed, and the principle of obligatoriness of plans are all present to make it succeed.
A capitalist economy can produce some desired results, though always with the consequences of generating new contradictions and disproportions. What a capitalist economy cannot be is a planned, balanced or stable economy.
Therefore, people who dream of a planned, distortion-free and stable economy yet advocate privatization and are in love with the anarchic license of the capitalist 'free market' are talking economic nonsense.
The Nigerian economy is at best a programmed state-capitalist economy. It is not a planned one. Planning does not consist in merely drawing up a programme on paper and paying people in a government 'planning' office.
This piece by late professor Eskor Toyo was first published on page 10, of The Nigerian Economist of January 6-19,1988.
“It is not the case that Nigerians do not know how to plan on paper. Still less is it the case that Nigerian plans are defective and go awry because we are planning without facts.”