Friday, 22nd September 2023

‘Nigeria needs economic decisions that’ll reduce inflation, address productivity’

By Gloria Nwafor
18 January 2023   |   3:55 am
To stabilise the economy, the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) has said there is need for strategies that would reduce high rate of inflation, to at least single digit; address foreign exchange misalignment,..

Taiwo Adeniyi

To stabilise the economy, the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) has said there is need for strategies that would reduce high rate of inflation, to at least single digit; address foreign exchange misalignment, promote equality, create a friendly enabling environment and improve human capital development, while targeting increased productivity.

To achieve this, the OPSN said that there must be synergy between the fiscal, monetary and trade policies, stating that inconsistency of the nation’s policies does not in any way promote development.

Aligning some policy priorities to political parties ahead of the general elections for the next administration, President, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Taiwo Adeniyi, who spoke at a high level meeting of the OPSN with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and facilitated by the Centre for International Private Entreprise, Nigeria (CIPE), said the group was willing and ready to work with the government to ensure the growth of the economy.

He said an active promotion of infrastructural investments and industrial policy will enhance and complement human capital investment, stating that if not done accordingly, may lead to private sector capture.

On structural reform of fiscal and monetary policies for enterprise growth, Adeniyi said there is a need for structural reform of the fiscal system to achieve a prosperous future.

This, he said, should include, tax harmonisation, clarification of taxing rights, vis-à-vis fiscal federalism, setting the right tone and improving tax culture through an integrated revenue optimisation, expenditure efficiency; policy on national debt restructuring and management to reduce debt servicing.

Noting that there was the need to eliminate multiplicity of taxes and levies/excise duties, the NECA boss stressed that with the recently released Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which showed that over 63 per cent of persons living within Nigeria (133 million people) are multi-dimensionally poor, he noted that it is imperative for the nation to discontinue taxing poverty.

Stating that no nation becomes rich by that approach, he said beyond the legal authority to levy taxes, the government must earn the moral right to tax by supporting taxpayers’ businesses to thrive.

According to him, growing the non-oil sector should be the heartbeat of any industrial economy, as no economy can attain any meaningful industrialisation without a vibrant industrial sector.

Advising the next administration, he said the real sector is synonymous to greater job creation for the unemployed and wealth creation for the wellbeing of the populace.

“Consequently, the OPSN is full of expectations that the new government will support the development of the industries as the flagship of its new economic agenda come 2023. This is no doubt critical in achieving the longstanding collective industrialisation aspiration of our dear country.

“For the private sector to be adequately enabled to play its part in engendering economic growth, the government has to provide the enabling environment for production to happen and development to occur. Government must equally address the infrastructural gaps in the country. The private sector cannot wait endlessly for affordable and sustainable public electricity supply,” he said.

Country Director, CIPE, Lola Adekanye, who said there is no stable democracy without the input of the private sector, called for collaborative advocacy, adding that a weak rule of law or justice system could scare away investors.

Similarly, President and Chief Executive Officer, NED, Damon Wilson, who spoke on the aspirations and hope for Nigeria’s democracy, said his expectations ahead of the elections is how Nigeria could advance its priorities for reforms and address the challenges of insecurity and brain drain.

Stating that the body was working with (INEC) and CIPE to achieve a healthy democracy, he added that there was the need to be able to deliver on the agenda of change through economic priorities.

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