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Nigeria 2017 Outlook: Economists and Financial Analysts harp on pro-growth policies - 1

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Friday, January 27, 2017 11.00am/Proshare WebTV

As Nigeria hopes to recover fully from the current recession, leading economists and financial analysts in the country have tasked the Federal Government to pursue pro-growth economic policies. 

This has been the outcome of the key 2017  macro-economic outlook sessions, so far hosted in the country by key professional groups and policy advocacy organizations. 

Even with the prospects of a Nigerian recovery on the cards, from the various projections of international financial institutions, investment groups and analysts/research firms, there is still a lot of work to be done on the economy. 

Professor Akpan Hogan Ekpo a notable economist, former University Vice Chancellor, former board member of the Central Bank of Nigeria and current Director-General of the West African Institute of Finance and Economic Management believes a “robust macro-economic management framework will be vital for the economic recovery from  recession”. 

Noting the fact that every market-driven economy is prone to recession, Prof Ekpo harped on the need for the government to reset its fiscal policy to achieve growth for the country beyond recovery. 

For him the ability to implement the budget 2017 by over 80% will achieve minimal positive GDP growth, but a deliberate and strategic approach in economic management is essential. 

Ekpo also stresses the need for a proper coordination of fiscal and monetary policies in the country, for Nigeria to achieve growth. 

Dr Doyin Salami an economist, Associate Professor of Economics in the Lagos Business School and member of the Monetary Policy Council of the Central Bank, is cautious about the analysis of a positive GDP growth in 2017, signalling a recovery. 

Salami is rather emphasizing the need for Nigeria to focus and aggressively push for economic policies, that will guarantee the nation  sustainable growth. 

He gives the illustration that going by analysis, Nigeria’s population grows by 2.8% annually which means the economy must grow by over 3% to match the pace of population growth. 

Speaking further he underscores the need for massives investments in the country, especially in the infrastructure space which has a huge deficit at the moment.  

To achieve this, Salami calls on government to find creative ways of accessing/retaining private capital to finance the massive infrastructure projects, that will transform the Nigerian economic landscape. 

According to him “Nigeria since 2013, requires N30trl annually to fund its infrastructure deficit, even if the Federal and State Governments are to save all their revenue earnings, without paying salaries they cannot finance the infrastructure needs”. 

Mr Olufemi Awoyemi a notable financial analyst, Chartered Accountant and CEO of Proshare Nigeria in his intervention raises a fundamental point that “recovery is inevitable, but growth is optional”, which is the basis for Nigeria to define what it wants as a nation. 

This should lay the groundwork for  coherence in economic policy and planning from the Federal Government, that covers the fiscal, monetary and trade policy space. 

He believes Nigeria should pursue growth with the clarity of its core competencies as a nation, identifying the key drivers of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, that need to be prioritized for further investments and development. 

Recently the Vice-President of Nigeria Prof Yemi Osinbajo in a forum with private sector players, said the Federal Government was going to unveil the “Economy Growth and Recovery Plan” for the nation in February.

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