NBCC Forum: Jobs And Wealth Creation Key To Nigeria's New Economy - Biodun Adedipe


Sunday, November 23, 2020 / 10:30 PM / Nifemi Taiyese for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV

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Nigeria's new economic direction must give top priority to 'Jobs and Wealth Creation' as the nation experiences a fast-growing population. Dr Biodun Adedipe, economist and Chief Consultant BAA Consult, said this as the keynote speaker at the Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce forum that explored "Nigerian Economy: Review and Forecast".

According to him 2020 kicked off with a decade of huge expectations before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the global economy, leading to job losses, recession and a new normal in social interaction.

He identified the fact that developing and low-income countries were facing the adverse effects of the pandemic, with Six underlying issues;

  1. Resource dependency
  2. Highly indebtedness
  3. Large informal sectors
  4. MSME Dominated
  5. Large population and
  6. High poverty incidence

He also noted the seeming reversal of globalization which were reflected in the policies of governments in Japan, USA, UAE etc. The economist alluded to the fact that the global economy would end up in a recession in 2020.

Citing the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Dr. Adedipe believed the Nigerian economy would plunge into another recession at the end of the year 2020 (-4.2%) currently it recorded (-3.62% Q3,2020 and is already in a recession).

Speaking further he emphasized the need for the continued renewal of infrastructure as being critical to Nigeria's attainment of steady and bullish growth.

The former member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Committee stressed the need for Nigeria to prioritize top sectors that could anchor its development.

"There is need to create a conducive environment for investors to come in or alternatively consider the economic indices and parameters which will inspire people with the confidence to invest in Nigeria" he said.

Dr. Adedipe said Nigeria needs to invest in public education and health institutions, making them nearly as good as private ones thereby driving the nation's competitiveness.

On her part Chinwe Egwim, Senior Economist, FBN Quest Merchant Bank said the economy kicked off Q1,2020 with a growth of 1.9% Y-o-Y. Oil served as the 4th largest sector in the economy after agriculture, information & communications, and trade. She noted that most sectors shrank due to the selective lockdown designed to combat the COVID19 pandemic.

Looking ahead to Q3 2020 she projected a GDP contraction of -5% (Latest update from NBS is -3.62%).

The FBN Quest Senior Economist harped on a robust trade policy in Nigeria that can facilitate investment activities in the country, especially as the nation prepares for the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, AFCFTA in 2021.

Mr. Bola Onadele Koko CEO FMDQ Group in his presentation, covered the economic scorecard, the social score card and the hope for prosperity.  He mentioned that 50 years ago inflation was 13. 76% in Nigeria which is now at 14% today.

Onadele highlighted  that what should matter to the nation is the prosperity of its people.  He believed that the two critical pillars for developing the nation's economy should stem from investments in education and healthcare. In benchmarking Nigeria, he said Brazil was chosen because of its population size of over 200m and its past inflation rate and challenging mode of transportation.

With the right kind of leadership he said Brazil witnessed socio-economic transformation, which Nigeria can experience. Brazil according to him has a capital market with a size of a $1trn compared to Nigeria's $44bn and diversified transport system including the rail system. He was of the view that Nigeria needs a codified economic transformation agenda which begins with leadership.

Onadele identified the following key issues as being pertinent to national economic development;

  • The Need for a Housing Revolution
  • The need for an improved manufacturing base
  • The need for robust technology infrastructure including broadband.
  • The need to ensure access of Private Companies to debt capital.

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