The Federal Government has been urged to take short-term programmes and reforms necessary to take the country out of its present economic recession with utmost seriousness.
The admonitions were handed down by a cross section of panelists at the Vanguard Economic Discourse themed, “The hard facts to rescue the Nigerian economy,’’ in Lagos.
A former CBN Deputy Governor, Dr Obadiah Mailafia said that there was the need for a national concensus noting that “we are a divided country.” He noted that this was necessary for national development, and for the country to move forward.
Mailafia said that the insecurity of lives and properties and rise in crime rate was affecting economic growth and development and should be checked. He also pushed for youths’ development and emancipation of women.
Speaking on the need for genuine political will to address issues, former Vice President of NLC, Comrade Issa Aremu asked the federal government to pay more attention to human capital development. He said incentives will drive productivity.
Another panelist at the event, Mr Muda Yusuf, who is the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), tasked the government to involve the private sector in the new economic plan to take the country out of recession because they were the ones that would bring in investment.
Yusuf argued that there is need for confidence building through good economic policies which he opined would attract both foreign and portfolio investments. “We cannot get these investments to come into the economy without confidence,” he stated.
Also speaking on the ways out of the economic crisis, Bismak Rewane, CEO, Financial Derivatives stressed that short-term plans and programmes are urgently needed as the nation’s economy is “an accident victim still lying at the scene of the accident.”
He noted that government’s new blueprint, Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, is a long-term programme and not a rescue agenda.
The renowned financial analyst asked the government to reform its forex policies, noting that exchange rate remains one of the biggest challenges we face as a nation.
Rewane further urged the federal government to remove structurally induced corruption and fix the electoral process.
Former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomole called for attitudinal change. He noted that integrity is very critical and essential for us to get our economy back to shape.
The keynote speaker and former CBN governor, Prof Charles Soludo noted that the federal government is not doing enough to reverse the economy.
“We are winning selected battles and losing more, we are chasing the rats thereby losing the cows.” He submitted.