By Chukwuma Umeorah
The Chairman of Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Niyi Yusuf, has said that Nigeria’s monetary and fiscal policy authorities must work together to develop and implement improved policies for Nigerian to attain economic growth.
Yusuf stated this in a Keynote address at the annual Vanguard Economic Discourse 2023 tagged, “Taming Inflation and Stimulating Growth: The Place of Fiscal & Monetary Policies” which held in Lagos on Wednesday.
He said that regulatory authorities cannot work in isolation if they desire to achieve economic growth. While admitting that external factors like the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine crisis were beyond the nation’s control, he however noted that there are several approaches that can be taken to mitigate and resolve internal issues affecting the economy including inflation, insecurity, naira devaluation among others.
Considering Nigeria’s weak economic performance in 2022 with experts predictions for 2023, he said that there would be no significant improvement if drastic decisions and other innovative approaches were not explored.
Yusuf advocated the need for improved efficiency and transparency in government’s spending, while reviewing all forms of untargeted subsidies, tax waivers and incentives, the need to institutionalise efficiency in the administration of tax collection systems. Others proposals included removal of fuel subsidy and channeling the resources to other sectors like health, education, and infrastructure.
While stressing the need to explore non-oil approaches of revenue generation for government, he also harped on the importance of a unilateral market reflective exchange rate to provide a level field for all players in the economy.
“We need to think of innovative ways to attract capital as opposed to oil revenue. Nigeria is a nation that requires huge capital to build infrastructure and so government as well as regulatory authorities in both fiscal and monetary policies must begin to develop and effectively implement policies that will encourage private capital to come into the country.
“To do the hard work of inviting the private capital investments what is more important is the stability of the rates and that everybody has access to the FX at the same rate,” he said.
For her part, the Founder and Group Chief Executive of Emerging Africa Capital, Toyin Sanni, called for an end to corruption and mismanagement of funds even as she tasked the leaders in the political and economic spheres to create infrastructural facilities that will keep Nigerians from the mass exodus overseas which consequently impair the capability to build the nation’s economy.
She stressed the need to drastic economic reforms that would spur growth. According to her, “In the absence of a major reform initiative and a total overhaul of the Nigerian economy, we would not be able to achieve the growth that we desire.”
The Chairman of the event and the founder of The Chair Centre Group, Ibukun Awosika in her address urged charged the media as the fourth estate to intensify its advocacy and public discourse aimed at elucidating and proffering ways to improving the Nigeria’s economic condition. In addition, she urged Nigerians to play their individual roles in their various capacities for the betterment of the nation.
According to her, “We have to live up to our responsibilities in upholding sanity in our socio-economic and political leadership systems. I challenge the Vanguard of this world as media houses to continue to be the conscience and voice of the people and that should not be forsaken. Nigeria is blessed with everything that it needs, it has no excuse for going wrong.”