Introduction: Towards Evidence-based Policy
Economic policy choices profoundly affect the lives of ordinary people. Nigeria is fortunate to have huge opportunities: oil provides large public resources; Nigerians succeed the world over as entrepreneurs; Lagos is a superbly located big city that could rival the exporting cities of Asia. The choice of economic policies determines whether these opportunities are harnessed or dissipated. Nigerians are poor today because of mistaken choices over the past thirty years. Since 2003 the society has begun to correct past mistakes, but policy reform is a continuous process and despite some remarkable successes many issues remain to be addressed. Choices tend to go wrong if they are founded on hunches, special interests, beliefs or textbooks. They need to be based on evidence. The purpose of this book is to show that there is already plenty of evidence from Nigerian experience that can inform policy discussion. In a democracy, economic policy ultimately rests upon popular understanding of the issues. In the vacuum created by a lack of hard evidence, rogue nostrums thrive and confuse. Hence, this book is written not for an audience of technocrats but for all who wish to engage with policy choices.
KeywordsPolicy Climate Monetary Union Federal System Agricultural Export Dutch Disease
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