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How Nigeria can revive ailing economy, says NECA

How Nigeria can revive ailing economy, says NECA

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has listed the development of implementable economic/industrial policies, improved forex availability, energy/power supply, resuscitation of domestic refining, investment in critical infrastructure and security, as measures the Nigerian government must take urgently to bail the economy out its doldrums.

NECA stated this at its 66th annual general meeting held in Lagos on Tuesday, saying the current administration must be deliberate and intentional in returning the ailing economy to the path of growth.

Taiwo Adeniyi, president of NECA, at the AGM which attracted key members of the organised private sector, said: “The government has to prioritise the formulation of policies to achieve macroeconomic stability with relatively low and stable inflation and exchange rates while avoiding policy inconsistency – especially among the different agencies of government. It should develop strategies to synthesize monetary and fiscal policies to moderate the high rate of inflation, double-digit lending rate, and unfavourable foreign exchange parity.

According to Adeniyi, the government should sustain and fine-tune the current effort at unifying the various exchange rates in the economy and support the real sector with the necessary infrastructure required to boost value addition in non-oil sectors.

Read also: Oil theft, illegal mining plagued Nigeria economy for years

“This will drive global competitiveness in the Nigerian export market and ultimately facilitate inflows of foreign exchange from non-oil exports. It must ensure transparency in the foreign exchange management system to deepen investment confidence. Capital control measures should be abolished. Investors should be allowed to repatriate their funds at will.

“They should adequately implement the new Electricity Act, particularly as it empowers state governments to generate and distribute electricity; develop and implement a roadmap for improved power supply focusing on off-grid solutions and independent power projects by the private sector and develop and implement strategies to boost renewable energy utilisation and energy efficiency in the country, said Adenyi at the AGM.

He also harped on the need for the Federal Government to review the current status of the four national refineries and establish modalities for their privatisation.

“It (government) must create incentives to attract private sector investment in gas aggregation to end the current gas flaring, and create incentives to increase private sector investment in the petrochemical industry.”

NECA said the Nigerian economy since 2022 has been marked by the cost-of-living crisis; high inflation as a result of spiralled food and energy costs; increased global interest rate and tightened financial conditions that led to stagnation and technical recession, noting that it was time these challenges were fixed.

The NECA president, however, praised the Bola Tinubu-led government for the political will to abolish Nigeria’s wasted petrol subsidy policy, as well as other bold steps taken so far. He said, “The leadership of NECA is elated with the very critical components of the president’s inaugural speech, particularly the intention for a consultative based governance approach. We identify with the interest in tackling the vast security challenges in the country; driving the economy with growth-centric industrial policy and improved access to electricity for businesses; resolving the issues of multiple taxes on private businesses; promoting domestic and foreign investments; creating meaningful job opportunities, particularly for the youths; ramping up agricultural production; advancing the infrastructure stock such as networks of roads, rail, and ports; and reconfiguring the monetary policy system.

“We believe that these measures are critical to addressing the enormous social and economic quagmires facing organised businesses in the country.”