Renowned economist and Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates, Dr. Ayo Teriba, has advised the Federal Government to open up the economy to foreign direct investment (FDI), to get Nigeria out of recession, and keep it on the path of sustainable economic growth.
Teriba said this at a breakfast session of the Financial Services Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), with the theme: Economic recovery and growth plan: Roadmap to a sustainable economy, held in Lagos recently, which was sponsored by Sterling Bank.
Teriba, in a keynote, spoke on: Nigeria’s economic outlook: Getting out of recession cycle, saying: “There is need to open up Nigeria to receive massive foreign investments just like Saudi Arabia and India. This will unlock vast and latent opportunities in the country.”
While urging Government to sustain the recent issuance of $1.5billion Eurobond, as well as a Diaspora bond, Teriba also advised the Central Bank of Nigeria to complement such efforts by issuing Eurobond to ensure stability in the foreign exchange market.
He encourage government to learn how to manage cyclical economic shocks, such as the remarkable drop in oil earnings, which led to the devaluation of the Naira in 2016, high level inflation, and increases in interest rates.
While urging greater fiscal responsibility, Teriba called on Government to halt the misalignment in some sectors of the economy where parastatals are building expensive corporate offices and driving official cars without appropriation through the aid of revenue collecting agencies.
In her welcome address, Chairperson of the group and General Manager, Corporate Banking, Sterling Banking, Mrs. Mojisola Bakare, said they are keen on the resolution of issues affecting Nigeria’s economic development.
She said the topic of the session was motivated by the recent launch of the Federal Government’ Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP), based on three broad strategic objectives. They include restoring growth of the economy, investing in the Nigerian people, and building a globally competitive economy as a blueprint for recovery in the short short-term, and a strategy for sustained growth and development in the long-term.
Bakare observed that there was no doubt that the economy was in the recovery mode, with inflation rate coming down from 18.45 percent last February to 16.25 per cent in June.
According to her, the capital market is also on the upward swing although at a slow pace, coupled with renewed efforts to improve the ease of doing business.
“Generally, the other economic indices are pointing towards our exit from recession by September 2017, as predicted by the World Bank.”
Also speaking, the President of LCCI, Mrs. Nike Akande noted that with the Nigerian economy highly import dependent, consumption driven, and undiversified, it has become necessary for government to draw a roadmap for economic diversification that would drive sustainable growth and development.
Represented by the Deputy President, Babatunde Ruwase, she said it is imperative for government to create initiatives that would restore growth, a competitive economy and provide an enabling business environment that would empower the private sector in delivering its mandate towards the actualisation of the growth plan.
Akande observed that as laudable as the ERGP is, commitment to its implementation is critical to foster growth in the economy within the next couple of years, adding that driving these plans require the collaborative efforts among governments at all levels and the private sector.