Enterprise Television- Private Sector Must Be Encouraged to Invest in Infrastructure
The Group Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Mr. Ade Ayeyemi has stressed the need for the Nigerian government to create an environment that would encourage private sector participation in infrastructure.
The Ecobank Group CEO said this during an event titled: “Nigeria’s 2018 Economic Outlook: Challenges and Opportunities,” organised by the bank for its corporate customers. Renowned accountant and financial expert, Dr. Bode Agusto, gave a presentation at the event.
According to Ayeyemi, for Nigeria to have good power and infrastructure, the federal government must be willing to support private sector participation.
“That participation will reduce the drain on government resources for infrastructure creation. In other countries, not only in advance countries, but even in Togo, Ghana, the private sector participates in the creation of infrastructure. “The government cannot spend all their monies creating terminals at airports, whereas the private sector can actually do that.
“So, government needs to spend money on basic primary education, whereas the private sector should be allowed to participate in those things that they can participate in,” Ayeyemi explained.
He pointed out that Ecobank is present in 33 countries in Africa.
According to him, Nigerians should start focusing on how to start exporting their produce.
“Today, Cote d’Ivoire is the largest producer of cashew nuts in the world, today, Cote d’Ivoire is the largest producer of cocoa in the world, Cote d’Ivoire is also the fastest growing economy in Africa.
“So, we need to start talking about what more we can do to employ a large number of our population that are in the rural areas by creating linkages between what they can do in the rural areas to the market.
“If you can do that, then it will not just be oil and that is one of the ways of diversifying the economy,” he said.
On his part, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Charles Kie explained that the forum was to give customers of the bank ideas about how best they can run their businesses in 2018.
He pointed out that last year was quite difficult for the economy, just as he acknowledged that the outlook for 2018 looks bright.
“From the macroeconomic standpoint, things are improving and it is just right for us to ensure that we get close to our customers so that we can continue to accompany them into serving the local market and also supporting the Nigerian economy.
“The recent situation has shown that companies that remained in the country have shown some resilience during the crisis situation and the time has come for them to take advantage of the upside as the country gets away from recession.
“I believe our customers are now positioned to take advantage of the more positive outlook in 2018,” he added.
We anticipated increased bank lending in 2018, just as he foresaw a continuous slowdown in inflation.
“Manufacturing remains an industry that would attract a lot of financing,” he added.