Nigeria requires new strategic direction, policy orientation to accelerate recovery- Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo, vice president of, Federal Republic of Nigeria has said that Nigeria needs to adopt a new strategic direction and policy orientation in order to achieve speedy economic recovery post-pandemic.

He said this at the presidential policy dialogue session hosted by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), on Friday in Lagos, where he mentioned that although gradually recovering, the country also needs to achieve an economic growth rate faster than its population growth rate.

“The pandemic triggered global crises in health, economy and social aspects crises all of which Nigeria was not immune to as critical sectors declined significantly, hence the It is imperative that Nigeria is restored on to the path of faster growth going forward in order to fully recover from the effect of the pandemic,” he said.

He mentioned that the government was already considering a new strategic direction and policy orientation which was instituted in the new National Development Plan (NDP) for 2021 to 2025.

“The execution of the plan is expected to be sustained by a range of fiscal and monetary measures when implemented in full, the strategic orientation of becoming a value-added economy will help create a number of good paying jobs,” he said.

Osinbajo added that the NDP focused on establishing a strong foundation for a diversified economy, investing in critical infrastructure, enabling human capital development, improving governance, and strengthening security.

“The cornerstone of the strategy is boosting productivity by focusing on value addition as a guiding principle for all sectors especially agriculture, manufacturing, solid mineral, digital services among others with the aim to create wealth all along the value chain,” he said.

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Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State in his remarks said the pandemic has transformed the global system which has necessitated the need to implement strategies and initiatives to ensure the wheels of commerce keep rolling.

“This is not the season to continue to do things traditionally if we want a different result, now we have to raise the level of commitment and harness the potentials available through the window of opportunity offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” Sanwo-Olu who was represented by Sam Egube Commissioner for economic planning and budget, Lagos state said.

He reiterated that the strategic direction of Lagos state’s economic development plan is to harness public and private investment to create a strong mixed economy that can provide jobs for all and create a base for expanding social services and environmental sustainability.

“As a responsive and responsible government, we understand the importance of formulating policies that will improve the business environment for sustainable private sector-led economic development,” he said.

“Policymaking is foundational, as custodians of the growth and development of the economy you must recognize that the private sector is an invaluable piece of the puzzle hence its performance is linked to the quality of prevailing policies in the economy,” Abimbola Ogunbanjo, group chairman, Nigeria Exchange Group said

Ogunbanjo urged that the right policies be implemented for the private sector to thrive post pandemic so it can deliver on its mandate to contribute significantly to economic growth and development

“This will be welcome especially in the areas of industry promotion and attracting foreign direct investment and fostering public-private partnerships in building infrastructure and providing access to finance,” he said.

He also mentioned that technology will be the driver of advancement for decades to come which is fast gaining ground in other sectors, hence increasing attention must be paid to leveraging digitalization and innovation to tap inherent potentials in these sectors.

Toki Mabogunje, LCCI president, said the short-term outlook of key economic indicators is still looking fragile but bright, adding that recent policy interventions and economic reforms could drive the economy to recovery sooner than expected.

“We believe that the Nigerian economy has some strong fundamentals like our natural resources, large market, resourceful and enterprising people which need enablers,

This is a period that offers tremendous opportunities for innovation, creativity, export growth, and import substitution which impacts growth and should be leveraged,” she said.

She urged the federal and state governments to build the capacity of both public and private sectors in understanding the opportunities in the AfCFTA to explore the country’s local comparative advantage.

Speaking on the recently approved National Development Plan (NDP) for 2021 to 2025 which has an investment size of N348.7 trillion over the next five years, Mabogunje urged the government to establish a monitored implementation mechanism that would guarantee the delivery of positive impacts from the Plan.

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