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‘Government must build a resilient economy that can withstand distortions’

By Gloria Nwafor
28 September 2021   |   3:03 am
For Nigeria to withstand economic distortions, stakeholders have advised that it must take critical lessons from the global recessions especially, from the recent COVID-19 pandemic induced recession.

Ajoritsedere Awosika

For Nigeria to withstand economic distortions, stakeholders have advised that it must take critical lessons from the global recessions especially, from the recent COVID-19 pandemic induced recession.

They urged that the country must be prepared to withstand the disruptions that come with it, stressing the need for an enabling environment that will propel and accelerate private sector development and ensure proper economic development.

Chairman, Access Bank Plc., Dr. Ajoritsedere Awosika, gave the advice yesterday, when she spoke on ‘Managing the Impact of Global Recession: The Nigerian Peculiarity’, at the opening ceremony of the 2021 yearly national management conference of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) chartered.

She said the country was currently performing below its potential due to economic mismanagement by the country’s leadership over the years.

To address this, she said the government must deliberately enhance macroeconomic management to boost investors’ confidence and, consistently implement the right policies to run the economy.

Noting that building a resilient economy managed by the right leadership was the way to go, Awosika maintained that embracing fiscal and financial discipline would be key going forward.

She said this would help the nation to improve Human Development Index (HDI), which is a key barometer for sustainable economic development.

While noting that aggressive support of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) cannot be over-emphasised as they remain the engine of growth capable of reducing unemployment, she said sustainability growth would make the economy resilient to the vagaries of a future recession.

In her speech, President and Chairman of Council, NIM, Patience Anabor, said for Nigeria to move forward, there must be a break from the past, with a conducive and peaceful operating environment.

She said poor economic planning and implementation characterised by budget delay and exchange rate policy is another major cause of the recession.

She said there has not been any deliberate and sustained effort to pursue the strategic plan for growth to a conclusive end even though successive governments have at different times promised to diversify the economy, improve manufacturing/mining sectors, raise agricultural output and encourage foreign direct investment among others.

“No doubt, the government has taken some steps like the elimination of dollar purchase privileges for importers of some items as well as the recent stoppage of foreign exchange trading by Bureau de Change (BDC) operators, she said.

“It is not abnormal for a market economy to go through a business cycle of boom, recession, and recovery. What matters is how long the phase of recession is effectively managed to avoid a depression,” she said.