‘How Nigeria can achieve double-digit growth’
Participants at this year’s edition of the economic review of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) have listed stimulation of the private sector, diversifying of the economy and stimulation of consumption of locally-made goods as factors that would boost the country’s economic growth.
The experts, who projected that the outlook for the economy remained positive, submitted that the problem of over-dependence on oil, foreign goods and neglect of small businesses must be addressed to achieve optimal performance.
According to them, more focus on agriculture, ICT and manufacturing sectors can create job opportunities, attract investment inflows, tackle the nation’s lingering economic crisis and reduce poverty.
For instance, the Chairman, Research and Technical Committee, CIS, Akeem Oyewale said the private sector activities need to be significantly stimulated while the MSMEs business class should have greater access to viable long-term capital.
“These will be effectively accomplished if the equity capital market is supported, strengthened and stabilized with continuous liquidity. Based on the universally acknowledged principle that the money (short term) and capital (long term) markets complement each other in the economic development process, we wish to call on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the following structural / liquidity support to the equity arm of the Nigerian capital market.”
Oyewale also noted that local pension funds serve as a catalyst for stabilizing and propelling growth in the advanced economies. Hence, he urged the Pension Commission (PenCom) and Nigeria’s pension fund administrators (PFAs) to significantly increase the percentage of pension funds invested in the equity market.
“Investment of Nigerian pension funds in local equities remains less than 10 per cent of pension funds under management, but we strongly believe that, given the current needs and safety structures of the market, the 25 per cent statutory cap can be safely made a minimum figure for the PFAs.”
An economist, Dr. Biodun Adedipe of B. Adedipe and Associates lamented Nigerians’ high penchant for foreign-made goods in comparison to those produced locally.
He said: “Our import figure has been growing. We cannot achieve a double-digit with a consistent rise in our importation figure. We must check what we import. Our focus also should be on how to grow the real sector.
“There is a disconnection between what we produce and what we consume. There is the need to focus more on manufacturing and agriculture processing if we must achieve a double digit growth this year,” he said.
The Head of Department of Finance, University of Lagos, Prof. Rufus Olowe, said there is the need to stimulate production in Nigeria and invest more in agriculture.
“We need to stimulate production and agriculture sector, we need to find an alternative to oil to attract more revenue because it is becoming more volatile. We need to encourage our youths to go into small scale manufacturing and shun white cola jobs.”
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