Wednesday, August 31st 2016 5.00pm/@webtvng
The Federal Government has been advised to articulate clearly its economic agenda, to reposition Nigeria on the pathway of economic recovery and growth.
This was the position of panelists at the 2nd Nigerian Stock Exchange/Bloomberg CEOs roundtable in Lagos.
Considering the Q2 GDP, 2016 economic report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which officially pegged Nigeria in a “full recession” with a -2.06% growth rate, the panelists harped on viable policies.
The CEO of Airtel Nigeria Mr Segun Ogunsanya noted that the recession was an opportunity for the nation’s economy to be restructured. He said “Nigeria needs a clear economic agenda to drive investments”.
Ogunsanya argued that clarity in economic policy, will galvanize efforts from the public to private sector space, enabling effective planning and understanding of which sectors will be vital for the economy.
Dr Ogho Okiti an economist/policy analyst in his intervention, raised the concern that the economic situation could be worse, if the government does not identify what are the key drivers of growth in the country.
He was of the strong view that the economic situation in the country, should be addressed frontally and given top priority & attention by policy makers.
On portfolio investments, Mr Ayo Fashina an Executive Director with Chapel Hill Denham said at the moment foreign investors, were bearish about the Nigerian market.
Fashina believed a robust economic policy framework, with a clear direction will woo investors to the Nigerian market.
In the area of suggested steps, Mr Ogunsanya asserted that the government should focus on developing the “Digital Economy” though broadband, which he was confident could translate to an improved growth in GDP.
Mr Fashina advised the Federal Government to explore effective public-private partnership to drive infrastructure projects like rail, power, roads etc, which was also vital to jumpstarting the economy.
Speaking further, Dr Okiti said it was time for Nigeria to identify the key sectors it can develop, to create value in terms of tradable goods with other nations.
The CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Mr Oscar Onyema, in his opening remarks assured stakeholders that the key points from the forum, will be articulated into a “White Paper” for relevant policy makers.