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Experts seek policies to mainstream informal sector

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Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) tower. Photo/nairametrics

Capital market stakeholders have called for a well-coordinated policy that would integrate both the informal sector into the economy and unlock the country’s economic potential.

Speaking at the 5th Budget Seminar of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the experts also sought partnership between the government and the private sector to generate a pool of funds for infrastructure development and other capital projects.

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The experts maintained that with the right policies, the government could harness the potential of the Nigerian informal economy.

Head, Economic Research and Policy Management of the Securities and Security Commission (SEC), Dr. Afolabi Olowookere, said with proper engagement and a more efficient environment, the sector would generate more revenue and expand job creation.

According to him, Nigerian has 45 million business outfits with 99.8 per cent of the figure playing in the informal sector.

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He pointed out that operators in the informal sector do not have access to capital and legal service and that they relied on the informal structure and contacts to survive.

Managing Director of Stanbic Pensions Limited, Olumide Oyetan, said the government must find ways to integrate the formal and informal to attract the needed tax revenues and increase savings.

He said: “Government can develop a model to attract and bring in these informal businesses into the formal space. This model must meet the need of the sector. “There is urgent need to integrate them into the mainstream with the devastating effect of the pandemic on businesses. This would help expand the tax net and public revenue in Nigeria.”

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A professor of economics, University of Ibadan, Abiola Adenikinju said the infrastructure gap in Nigeria is increasing across sectors.

He stresses the need for government to deepen collaboration with the private sector in tackling issues impeding the nation’s growth, noting that unless Nigeria adequately addresses its infrastructure deficits, it may lag behind meaningful economic development indexes.

He pointed out that government should tackle infrastructure issues from a broader perspective.

He added that all sectors of the economy must depend on each other for growth.

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