‘Step up policy implementation to forestall another recession’
Market operators have stressed the need for the Federal Government to step up the implementation of various policies and reforms needed to boost economic growth and ultimately avert another round of recession in the country.
The call came as South Africa- Africa’s second largest and most industrialised, this week, slipped into a technical recession, which is first for almost a decade, thereby exacerbating its currency’s decline amid emerging market rout, with pressure mounting on the country’s leadership.
Stockbrokers, who spoke with The Guardian, warned that if government fails to fast-track implementation of all proposed reforms in various sectors of the economy and harmonise fiscal and monetary policies, Nigeria would be at risk of another recession.
Furthermore, they said that government must avoid wrong policy choices that trigger economic decline, adding that there is a strong correlation between the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), particularly as some Nigerian companies are quoted on the foreign bourse.
The argument was that the capital market is the barometer of any economy and government must accelerate the implementation of policies that would enhance businesses in Nigeria and attract more investments to the market.
The Managing Director, Crane Securities Limited, Mike Ezeh, warned that if government fails to take proactive steps towards diversifying the economy to strengthen growth now, Nigeria may witness another round of recession.
“When the global meltdown started, it got to South Africa first, but our market was still booming. JSE management came to our Exchange to know what exactly we were doing to keep our market afloat and about two months later, our own market crashed.
“So, we have to put in place measures to prevent our own misfortune. South Africa’s recession should be an eye opener for us because if care is not taken, our own may follow. This is because our economy has not been doing well, it is only the politicians that are saying that the economy is good, but those of us who are practitioners know that our economy is not doing well,” he said.
The Relationship Officer, Foresight Securities and Investment Limited, Fakrogba Charles, urged government to fast-track the implementation of economic reforms and harmonisation of fiscal and monetary policies.
He said: “If the conditions are not too favourable to foreign investors, they will leave and eventually, it will affect the market. Nigeria has a lot to learn from the South Africa now. If everything is turned to politics, this may throw us back into recession. But if all the strategies are implemented, this can be averted, so government needs to align its monetary and fiscal issues.”