With Nigeria’s increasing economic crisis, experts have leveled different possible solutions that can be accrued to salvage the situation. In an interview with Dr. Andrew Nevin, the Chief Economist and Country Manager of PricewaterhouseCoopers spoke on some of the necessary paradigms for curbing Nigeria’s near-collapse economy. On the recent World Bank claim as regards the continued price hike catalyzing a global recession and its effects on Nigeria’s economy, Dr. Andrew stated that while the global recession could be as a result of various reasons such as the demographic of a declining population outside Africa, he noted that focus must be placed on the fundamentals that can improve Nigeria’s economy.
On the biggest drive of inflation in the country, he regarded inflation as a tremendous concern all over the world, particularly in Nigeria, where food inflation was rampant. He asserted that approximately 50 percent of the country’s population was spending 50 percent of their incomes on food and as such, he indicated that this inflation had a negative effect on the bottom of the social pyramid. He added that the main problem causing this food inflation was revolved around the security situation that ravaging the country. He then stated that Nigeria’s focus should be on curbing insecurity and protecting Agricultural production from this menace.
Harsh economic ambience, reason for lack of investment in Nigeria.
Dr. Andrew also commented on the increased lending rate by the Monetary Policy Committee. He indicated that the increase in the benchmark rate by 150 points was an inevitable phenomenon and while Nigeria’s economy operated on little borrowing, he agreed that this increase would have immense effect on potential borrowers. He also pointed out that the 20 percent GDP to bank asset for borrowing had also obviously had an effect on government deficit. He added that while the Central Bank of Nigeria was in the right path with its process of increasing the interest rates, the policy would not have an effect on the economy or other issues.
The feasibility of the Federal Government’s plan to enhance the country’s economic outlook by its N298.3 trillion capital investment from the private sector, he first indicated that it was a progress that the federal government had recognized the importance of private capital. He however stated that with a harsh economic ambience, no one would be willing to invest in the country. On whether there was an existing alternative, Dr. Andrew noted that there was no tithed alternative than improving the environment to accommodate business investments. He noted that Nigeria had the biggest opportunity of any country in the world to attract major investment due to its population growth and as such, the government must enhance the business ambience.
Nigeria must increase remote workers to expand digital economy.
He pointed that the economy had the potential to expand 10,20 or even 50 times over the next 30-40 years, yet there has been no significant investment. He noted that while the federal government was aware of the importance of the private sector, they must also ask themselves why these private sector sector investors, including Nigerians in Diaspora have failed to invest in the country, despite the robust opportunity. On tapping into the wealth of the digital economy, which the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development valued at $3 trillion, Dr. Andrew Nevin indicated that Nigeria must see to an increase in remote workers.
On the economic inequality that has plagued the country which have caused a huge gap between the rich and poor classes, Dr. Andrew noted that this severe economic inequality was a global problem that the global institutions have not done enough correct this discrepancy. He said that residential housing for instance was employing skilled people which has obvious implications for the handling of human capital with education and even vocational trainings. He noted that the country must however expand residential real estates to significantly raise the income rate.
Investment in exporting services, only strategy to enhance economy.
However, on the alternatives for growing Nigeria’s revenue in case of the oil setback, he noted that the country needed to invest in exporting services, indicating that this was the only strategy feasible for Nigeria. He pointed out that his company was not making any projection as they were also directly affected by the economy’s situation. Andrew said that with this strategy, the economy was definitely on the path to progress. According to him, with immense support of this strategy by the government, as well as the support for digital economy, the economy would witness a 6-8 percent growth.
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