Rewane, Awoyemi task government on recovery imperatives
Frontline economists have canvassed for genuine economic growth that would be felt by all and sundry aside from using figures as indication that the nation’s economy has fully exited recession.
Although the economic experts and analysts welcomed the 1.92 per cent GDP growth rate recorded by the Nigerian economy in the fourth quarter of 2017 according to the National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) latest report, they, however, expressed concern that the economic growth rate was weak and largely dependent on the risen oil prices.
They maintained that this shaky development might not be sustainable in the event of a shock in the local or global oil market.
The experts stressed that policymakers still had a lot to do to keep the economy out of recession and experience higher economic growth rate that could guarantee better living conditions and standards and advised them to take steps that would speed up the country’s economic growth and recovery through factors other than the oil sector.
Speaking at the Annual Roundtable Discussion of Nigeria’s foremost business intelligence magazine, BUSINESS EYE’s held recently in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismack Rewane, noted the need for accountability and transparency in governance in both the public and private sectors of the economy.
The Lead Discussant welcomed the 1.92 per cent GDP growth rate recorded by the Nigerian economy in the fourth quarter of 2017, but stressed the urgent need on the part of the Federal Government to be proactive and ensure that genuine recovery is attained. Rewane stressed that the Nigerian situation is slowly getting better in terms of the economic outlook, yet requires commitment, hard-work and also that demand for good governance is key to achieving the desired growth deserved in the country.
According to him, there was need for accountability and transparency in governance in both the public and private sectors of the economy, noting that things are getting better but on snail speed.
“The rate of GDP improvement is not enough to match the country’s population growth rate and unemployment rate; so there is much more to be done before we can get to where we should be. Every individual and government has to know what he can offer that will make life worth living,” Rewane submitted.
He continued: “The growth rate is way below optimal, and is insufficient to create more jobs for the 14.2 per cent of Nigerians who want to work but can’t find jobs. It is sustainable, but it means that a lot more work needs to be done and it’s too early to start celebrating.”
In his own view, the Chief Executive Officer, Proshare, Olufemi Awoyemi, said the Federal Government borrowing to pay salaries is sensitive to economic strategies for the Nigerian population.
He maintained that two-thirds of 36 states are unable to pay salaries of civil servants, and several are heavily indebted.
“An essential step to achieving a social democratic welfare state is the need to re-engineer the government through effective governance, accountability, transparency and value-for-money. The Buhari administration has shown no desire to engage with this objective,” he said.
He stated that a reduction of personnel cost by 15 percent, and statutory transfers, overheads and other service votes by a third would yield close to N1 trillion in savings, noting that an estimated savings of over N700 billion could be realized from the implementation of the Oronsaye report on civil service and parastatals.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer/Editor In-Chief, Business Eye Magazine, Ibim Semenitari, in her remarks noted that since the inception of her establishment in January 7th, 2007, that the firm has strived to be the most credible source of business intelligence in Nigerian economy and business space.
She reiterated that their promise to deliver ethical, accountable, responsible and responsive journalism will remain constant as her firm remains pleased when ideas contest for space to make better business projections for the masses as the focus of the Roundtable was to help the public and investors make informed decisions.
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