Monday, January 24, 2022 / 9:00 AM /
Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: CIBN, Nigeria
Experts at the recent 8th National Economic Outlook facilitated by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) agreed that policy cohesion between fiscal and monetary policy authorities and an enabling environment for businesses would be critical for Nigeria in 2022.
These were part of recommendations at the end of a dialogue on the state of the economy and critical steps needed to achieve growth and stability.
In his opening remarks, the President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, Dr. Bayo Olugbemi, described the forum as an opportunity for stakeholders to understand the key developments in the global, regional and national economy and implications for businesses in 2022.
Dr. Olugbemi said the year 2022 is significant because it is a pre-election year that would affect socio-economic activities in the country.
The national economic outlook, according to him, was an opportunity for seasoned economists and experts to provide their views on the economy and how it would affect various sectors and businesses.
He further noted that it was part of the policy advocacy of the CIBN, which would prepare a communique to be sent to relevant fiscal and monetary authorities for consideration.
The keynote speaker at the event, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to the President on the Ease of Doing Business, said since 2016, there have been over 160 reforms carried out to improve the business environment in Nigeria.
She noted that Executive Order 001 focused on public service delivery, has enabled the platform to track the activities of 55 MDAs to improve government services.
Other areas she highlighted that there had been significant activities/reforms through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) include;
Dr. Oduwole also stated that there had been remarkable work at the Sub-National level, which has brought healthy competition in the "Ease of Doing Business" area through the rankings.
She stressed the need for institutionalization of the reforms/processes, increased collaboration between the public & private sector and continuous improvement in policies to move the economy forward.
Giving his presentation on the economic outlook, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, Chief Consultant, BAA Consult, said Nigeria must provide a top priority to creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
According to him, the National Development Plan (2021-2025) revealed that the private sector contributes 86% to financing the actualization of the policy. He said this could only be achieved through reforms that encourage private sector participation in the economy.
He believed that it was time for Nigeria to return to a growth rate that exceeds its population rate but stressed the need for the nation to address the following issues;
Regarding Nigeria's debt level, Adedipe said borrowing was not the issue but its use for infrastructure. He said the quality of infrastructure is essential to catalyzing economic activities, unlocking growth and driving national productivity.
The event featured a panel session with Mrs. Ndidi Nwuneli, MFR Co-Founder/Managing Partner Sahel Consulting, Mr. Olusegun Alebiosu, Chief Risk Officer, First Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Taiwo Joda, MD/CEO Accion Microfinance Bank, Mrs. Confidence Staveley, Founder Cybersafe Foundation and Mr. Precious Iluku, Chief Financial Officer, Kuda Microfinance Bank as discussants.
Some of the key points raised by the experts at the conference included;