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Experts want government to create intervention funds for essential industries, others

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To alleviate pains of COVID-19 on the citizenry, financial experts have urged the Federal Government to consider the provision of intervention funds to support essential industries/commodities such as rice, vegetables and related products. According to them, the measure would also enhance outputs and efficiency.

The experts, while suggesting key fiscal measures that the federal government should consider within this period, said government should also develop economic stimulus packages for essential industries and commodities in their respective states.

Specifically, experts from FSDH Securities Limited, said there is need to target specific non-oil products and industries for exporters to take advantage of the devalued exchange rate.

“Key fiscal measures that Federal Government should consider include the following: Target specific non-oil products and industries for exporters to take advantage of the devalued exchange rate.

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“Provide intervention funds and support for essential industries/commodities such as rice, vegetables and related products to enhance outputs and efficiency. Intensify reforms on ease of doing business across states.

“Develop economic stimulus packages for essential industries/commodities in their respective states.

“Disbursement of intervention funds to vulnerable households that are affected by the virus, at both federal and states level. State government bail-outs are inevitable.”

Another expert, Adebayo Adeleke said the currency is weak because there is a huge imbalance in the country’s trade in terms of export and import, which implies that there is an urgent need to ban more items that can be produced domestically as well as enhance patronage of locally made goods.

According to him, there is no way the CBN would have continued to defend the currency amid heavy plunge in foreign reserve and the persistent drop in oil price.

He pointed out that government must accelerate diversification of non oil sector, insisting that it is the only viable way to survive the current global economic uncertainty with the volatility of oil price.

He added that there is need for government to consider placing ban on more imported goods, noting that the nation’s high level of import has led to forex scarcity, as a result of increase in the demand for dollar by importers.

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An independent investor, Amaechi Egbo said the nation’s earning capacity has declined when compared to other global economies, especially with the proposed review of the 2020 budget.

He said there is need for government to consider placing ban on more imported goods, noting that the nation’s high level of import has led to forex scarcity, as a result of increase in the demand for dollar by importers.

“High value of import by Nigeria has led to unfavourable trade balances, terms of trade and even trade policies for the country: It is not too good for a country to witness weak purchasing power.

“We need to ban as many products as possible. We lack the will power to do all these. These affect the balance of trade and payment. We cannot continue to have a monopolistic economy. We are at a great risk economically.”

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