The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Centre for Financial Studies, in collaboration with B. Adedipe Associates Limited, on Tuesday challenged the banking community and other organisations to seek business opportunities in dominant sectors of the economy this year.
Such sectors include Agriculture, Trade, Information, and Communication Technology (ICT), Mining & Quarrying, Manufacturing, and Real Estate.
These sectors of the economy together accounted for 80.7 percent of third quarter (Q3) of 2019 Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The CIBN/CFS on Tuesday unveiled its 6th national economic outlook where Biodun Adedipe, chief consultant, projected a 2.45 percent – 2.55 percent growth rate for Nigeria in 2020.
“I see 2020 as a year of opportunities but based on the understanding of the terrain, based also on the changes happening there and the changes we expect to happen. When all of these are put in context, companies, whether they are for profit-seeking or non-for- profit, make informed choices of strategies, it is a year also they can grow along with the economy,” Adedipe said.
Speaking at the event, Joseph Okwu Nnanna, deputy governor (Economic Policy), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said economic growth remained stable and positive, notwithstanding the slower pace of growth.
The outlook he said is anchored on higher oil prices and production, continuing reforms in the foreign exchange market, improvements in critical ancillary infrastructure and prospects for improved agricultural performance.
“Achieving the growth projections require effective implementation of the ERGP, diversifying government revenue sources, sustaining the current foreign exchange stability by the Bank, addressing insecurity in the country and increasing the contribution of the non-oil sector,” Nnanna, who was represented by Emmanuel Adamgbe, special adviser to the deputy governor economic policy directorate, CBN, said.
According to him, this outlook is predicated on the following conditions: deploying funds to critical infrastructure projects to stimulate growth; sustenance of peace in the Niger-Delta and North-East regions, to improve oil production; eradicate the Boko Haram menace to enhance growth-stimulating sectors, like manufacturing and agriculture; de-risking the economy to ramp up construction, mining , and job creation through unfettered access to credit.
In a welcome address, Uche Olowu, president/chairman of council, CIBN, called on the leaders and the banking community to jointly avail further support to the manufacturing sector.
He said support should come in terms of greater financial investment, improved infrastructure such as improved power supply, road networks, capacity building (staff training) as well as special policies to encourage indigenous operators like granting tax relief.
“Only then can we compete with other African nations and comfortably take our place as the giant of Africa,” Olowu said.
Others who spoke during the panel session of the forum titled ‘Managing Potential Risks, Unlocking New Growth Opportunities and Influencing Government Policies’ included Samuel Egube, commissioner for economic planning & budget, Lagos State; Emmanuel Ijewere, Chief Executive Officer, Best Foods Global Limited; Kabir Tijjani, Executive Director, Business Development, North & Strategy, Premium Pension Limited; and Femi Awoyemi, CEO, Proshare, among others.