• Monday, July 15, 2024
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How incoming government can curb economic, financial crisis — Oxfam

How incoming government can curb economic, financial crisis — Oxfam

Oxfam Nigeria, a non-profit organisation, has stressed the need for the incoming government to take steps to curtail the rising inflation, address the financial crisis in government as well as boost revenue generation.

Vincent Ahonsi, country director of Oxfam, in a report titled ‘Agenda for incoming government’, stated that the incoming administration could inherit a public debt of N77 trillion ($172 billion).

According to Ahonsi, it is imperative for the incoming government to curtail the rising inflation and financial crisis by reducing the cost of governance at all levels, ensuring the country depends less on imported goods while increasing exports.

“To generate more income and reduce revenue loss through taxation, the incoming government needs to remove tax concessions to rich individuals and corporations, make its tax system more progressive and transparent, and increase collection of income taxes.

“There is a need to continue to prevent illicit financial flows, from corrupt, or criminally inclined individuals or corporations. Recipient nations should be prevailed upon to take measures to discourage illicit financial flows into their countries by enforcing more diligence checks,” he said.

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Ahonsi further said that to stimulate economic recovery, there is a need for the new government to provide an enabling environment and technical support needed to boost growth of small businesses.

For him, the Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector has proven to be the backbone of major developed and emerging economies, as an important contributor to employment and economic growth.

Quoting the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Oxfam director, said that SMEs in Nigeria contribute over 45 percent of national GDP, it accounts for 96 percent of businesses, and 84 percent of employment.

Ahonsi said: “To stimulate economic recovery the new government needs to realise that Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are key to building the economy that is fair and just as they constitute a sustainable approach to tackling the developmental challenges that the economy is facing.

“Though significant growth has been achieved in the SME sector recently, there is still much to be done to further leverage the opportunities the ecosystem presents.

“To facilitate an inclusive business environment, where women and youth are empowered to participate, the incoming government needs to provide the enabling environment, the technical support and training that the SMEs need.

“To narrow the wide education inequality between the rich and the poor the incoming government needs to invest significantly in free universal education, with an emphasis on improving access to high-quality primary and secondary education.

“The incoming government should as a matter of priority invest a minimum of 15 percent of the national budget in the health sector. It should also allocate at least 10 percent of the budget to Agriculture, encouraging women and youth in agricultural businesses with farm inputs. It should develop a national agricultural investment plan that is gender-sensitive and climate-proof, which seeks primarily to support small-scale farmers in non-cash crop sectors.”

He also stressed the need for the incoming government to take urgent steps towards ending hunger, reducing inequality, and reducing the number of Nigerians living below poverty line.