The West African Institute for Finance and Economic Management (WAIFEM) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to pursue aggressive monetary policy that would reduce to near single digit, lending rates in order to revive the productive/real sector.
Speaking at the inaugural lecture of the Center for Financial Journalism in Lagos, the Director General of WAIFEM Professor Akpan Hogan Ekpo warned that the economy is “on the tip of recession” and called on the government to be strategic if it wants to fast track Nigerians development.
According to him, while no economic blue-print has been made available, based on the All Progressive Congress’ manifesto, pronouncements by government as well as the draft 2016 budget, President Mohammadu Buhari has several policy choices that will give quick results both in the short and medium terms.
He however, gave a number of policy options that will help stir the Nigerian economy which he said is in distress, stating that investment in power would enhance growth and generate employment,
It would also result in the establishment of new micro and small-scale industries as well as sustaining existing ones, he added.
He observed that construction of both urban and rural roads and repairs of existing roads would generate employment, even as the visible hand of government needs to recruit persons into all the security agencies such as the Police, Army, Air Force, Navy, Immigration, and Customs among others.
“The multiplier effects of government employment would grow the economy and then check the pending recession. The new workers would earn wages, pay taxes to the government and demand goods and services,” the professor advised.
He further observed that Nigeria’s rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) indicates the sluggish growth of housing sub-sector, stressing that a revamp in the housing sector for all levels of income through the mortgage process would stimulate growth and generate employment.
He noted that the economy despite rebasing exercise still remains at the primary level of production. “It is essential that agriculture be made to be large scale and mechanized so that its contribution to GDP would be less than that of industries but still enough to feed the domestic economy.
“Government should create the right environment for the economy to industrialise. It is through industrialisation that modern knowledge-based economy can be built. The economy must be diversified away from oil. The oil sector needs to be linked to agriculture, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, because the Nigerian market is large enough to absorb whatever is produced in the economy,” he said.