Thursday, March 15, 2018
8.00AM / Business Eye Magazine
economists have canvassed for genuine economic growth that would be felt by all
and sundry aside from figures coming out as indication that the nation’s
economy has fully exited recession.
the economic experts and analysts have welcomed the 1.92 per cent GDP growth
rate recorded by the Nigerian economy in the fourth quarter of 2017 according
to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) latest report, they, however,
expressed concern that the economic growth rate was weak and largely dependent
on improvement in oil prices and output, and as such, might not be sustainable
in the event of a shock in the local or global oil market.
experts said policymakers still had a lot to do to keep the economy out of
recession and experience higher economic growth rate that could guarantee
better living conditions and standards.
economists spoke Wednesday during Nigeria’s foremost business intelligence
magazine, BUSINESS EYE’s Annual Roundtable Discussion with the theme: “Ensuring
Sustainable Recovery and Growth in a Fragile Economy.”
the economists that headlined the talk-show included the Chief Executive
Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismack Rewane, and the Chief
Executive Officer, Proshare, Olufemi Awoyemi.
advised policymakers to take steps that would make the country’s economic
growth and recovery based on factors that were not dependent on the oil sector.
Discussant and Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives, Bismark Rewane,
having welcomed the 1.92 per cent GDP growth rate recorded by the Nigerian
economy in the fourth quarter of 2017, said there was an urgent need on the
part of the Federal Government to be proactive and ensure that genuine recovery
stressed that the Nigerian situation is slowly getting better in terms of the
economic outlook, yet requires commitment, hard-work and also that demand for
good governance is key to achieving the desired growth deserved in the country.
to him, there is need for accountability and transparency in governance in both
the public and private sectors of the economy. He maintained that things are
not deteriorating, but getting better yet on snail speed.
of GDP improvement is not enough to match the country’s population growth rate
and unemployment rate; so there is much more to be done before we can get to
where we should be. “Every individuals and government has to know what he can
offer that will make life worth living,” Rewane submitted.
continued: “The growth rate is way below optimal, and is insufficient to create
more jobs for the 14.2 per cent of Nigerians who want to work but can’t find
jobs. It is sustainable, but it means that a lot more work needs to be done and
it’s too early to start celebrating.”
own view, the Chief Executive Officer, Proshare, Olufemi Awoyemi, said the
Federal Government borrowing to pay salaries is sensitive to economic
strategies for the Nigerian population.
two-thirds of 36 states are unable to pay salaries of civil servants, and
several are heavily indebted. “An essential step to achieving a social
democratic welfare state is the need to re-engineer the government through
effective governance, accountability, transparency and value-for-money. The
Buhari administration has shown no desire to engage with this objective.
that a reduction of personnel cost by 15 percent, and statutory transfers,
overheads and other service votes by a third would yield close to N1 trillion
in savings. “It has been estimated that savings of over N700 billion could be
realized from the implementation of the Oronsaye report on civil service and
parastatals,” said Awoyemi.
to a question on the burden of Small and Medium Enterprises in securing funding
from banks, Awoyemi stressed that the fundamental belief is always about
structure. “You need to understand how capital is run in this country. You will
find in very few situations where banks are in stronger positions than
insurance companies, pension funds and others. So, the way capitalists mobilize
in the society we live in is very different from other societies out there.
There is also this notion that people look at banks as if they are some
extension of the public service mandate. But it is a private limited company
with a profit motive. That profit motive is their core mandate, which they
strictly adhere to. So banks are naturally structured to resist risks,
especially from the SMEs that don’t have much to bring to the table.
the constitution of this country makes it clear that everything that comes into
government coffers should be shared. Investment is not entrenched in the
system, and that is why foreign direct investment keeps shrinking, and nobody
does anything to encourage it. In essence, small investments have no place in
this society,” he concluded.
the Founding Editor/Founder, Shopher Nigeria Limited, publishers of BUSINESS
EYE, Ibim Semenitari, said the media outfit strives to take a peek into the
business and economic landscape on yearly basis, while the focus of the
Roundtable is to help the public and investors make informed decisions.
to her, “Government is pleased that it is technically out of recession. They
bandy good numbers, and say it might be Uhuru sooner than later. It is on
the back of this that our Roundtable today takes a look at how we can ensure
sustainable recovery and growth in a fragile economy.
absence of debate and conversation is one of the reasons our nation appears
sometimes confused and at other times anaemic or poorly developed. Whichever
way, today is a chance to add your voice and your ideas to making our country
better, and help grow our economy,” she stressed.
Eye Magazine hosts discourse on Nigeria’s sustainable economic recovery
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