Nigeria Restates Commitment To Reducing Dependence On Oil

Udoma-UdomaThe Federal Government of Nigeria has reaffirmed its commitment to diversifying the nation’s economy to reduce its dependence on oil.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, made the declaration on Wednesday at the end of the National Economic Summit Group (NESG).

He said the proposed shift from oil resources would help create jobs, reduce poverty and contribute to the nation’s socio economic development.

At the moment, the nation’s economy is in recession.

Mr Udoma explained that the government would achieve this through a synergy with members of the organised private sector.

He added that the government was eager towards diverting from its over dependence on petroleum resources to other sectors of the economy.

As the NESG meeting comes to an end, experts have been deliberating on how to improve the Nigerian economy through the patronage of locally produced goods.

Nigerian-Economic-Summit-Group

One of the participants, Lanre Akinbo, is hopeful that key recommendations identified at the gathering will serve as a starting point for the successful implementation of the Made in Nigeria campaign.

The 22nd edition of the NESG meeting opened on Monday in Abuja, with participants looking to come up with strategies that would spur economic growth through heightened patronage of made in Nigeria goods and services.

The theme for this year’s summit is ‘Made In Nigeria’ and the organisers of the summit say they are looking to re-emphasise the message that the productive capacity of the Nigerian economy has to be developed as much as possible.

Need For Diversification

In his opening address, President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria had no other choice at the moment than to diversify its economy to break its reliance on oil.

Buhari, NESG, Economy
President Buhari stresses need for diversification

He was happy with the theme of the summit, saying it “lies at the heart of so many of the efforts we are making to lead us through these troubled times and to lay a firm foundation for the future”.

The President stressed the need to diversify the economy, stating that it was to ensure Nigeria never have to rely on a commodity to survive as a country.

He added that there was apparently no other way to steer Nigeria out of its present economic predicament without building a strong economic foundation on Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.

On the sidelines of the summit, the Vice Chairman of the NESG, Sola David-Borha, told Channels Television that stakeholders would discuss issues affecting Nigeria’s economy and proffer solutions that will reflate the economy and subsequently bring growth.

Mrs David-Borha, who is also the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, said the group believes that patronising made in Nigeria goods and services will spur the growth of the economy that is already in recession.

President Buhari Says He Is Committed To Diversification Of The Economy

Buhari, NESG, Economy
President Buhari says buying Made-in-Nigeria products and services will help stimulate economic growth

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria has no other choice at the moment than to diversify its economy to break its reliance on oil.

The president made the statement while declaring open the 22nd Nigeria Economic Summit in Abuja.

“I am so delighted that you have chosen as your theme Made-in-Nigeria, which lies at the heart of so many of the efforts we are making to lead us through these troubled times and to lay a firm foundation for the future.

“We need to diversify the economy so that we never again have to rely on one commodity to survive as a country, so that we can produce the food we eat, make our own textiles, produce most of the things we use and create the right environment for our young people to be able to innovate and create jobs through technology,” he said.

The President added that there was apparently no other way to steer Nigeria out of its present economic predicament without building a strong economic foundation on Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.

Holistic development

In an earlier speech delivered by Doyin Salami, a professor of economics and member of the Monetary Policy Committee, he said Nigeria needed to quickly work out a comprehensive development plan.

Professor Salami in his analysis of Nigeria’s present economic landscape in the local and international context, warns that the numbers are not in the country’s favour.

Dr. Salami says though the outlook may look bleak, there is hope for Nigeria
Dr. Salami says though the outlook may look bleak, there is hope for Nigeria

In the international market, he said: “International monetary policy, in particular, doesn’t look good for us. The dollar is strengthening and the likelihood over the next 18 months in particular is that the dollar will continue to be strong.

“That’s bad news for us by the way, because it also means a lower demand for crude oil”.

Professor Salami, however, accused the Buhari government of not effectively communicating some of its policies which in turn affects investor’s confidence.

He said Nigeria in the short term must boost the confidence of investors, articulate its development plan, with complementary monetary and fiscal policies and institutionalise a public procurement drive for Made-In-Nigeria goods.

Nigerians Should Change Their Consumption Pattern – Oshiomhole

 Economic Recession, Nigerians, Change, Consumption Pattern, OshiomoleAs part of the measures to get out of the current economic recession, Governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomhole says, Nigerians may have to change their consumption pattern.

Mr Adams Oshiomhole who is of the opinion that the current difficulties the country is facing is self-inflicted, says the only way to address this challenge is the adoption of policies that will enhance local production and reduce pressure on the nation’s reserves.

He said this while on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

He also expressed that Nigerians cannot expect change within a short time, when there has been a back log of problems long before the current administration.

“There has to be a time lapse between when you formulate policies on the basis of what you found on ground, and when the benefits of those policies begin to manifest, If it takes 60 years to get to this terrible state we are in, why would anybody think that under 15 months of a new government, we will fix it?”, he added.

The Governor addressing Nigerians, said we must all identify the issues in the system, as everyone had contributed to the current state of rural poverty.

He said “the nation’s consumption pattern has been so distorted by the few who have access to stolen money” such that everywhere you go in the country, we have imported foods.

He reiterates what the government has said that “Nigerians would have to go through a re-orientation, such that we don’t learn to perfect the act of consuming what we don’t produce, particularly those things that we can actually produce”

Oshiomhole further stated that the whole essence of moving the economy from state involvement, towards private sector involvement is so that the private sector could be structured in such a way that they do not have to import all the things they currently do.

According to him, If we are going to move from being a nation that consumes what it doesn’t produce, but is capable of producing, then the government must redirect investors properly to the agriculture sector.

FG To Invest Six Trillion Naira Pension Funds – Adeosun

Finance Minister, Kemi AdeosunThe Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, says the federal government is being cautious as it plans to invest the over six trillion Naira pension funds.

The Minister said this when she appeared before the House of Representatives as part of its ongoing sectoral debate on diversification of the Nigerian economy.

“A lot has been said about the pension money. We have six trillion and people treat it as if it’s just available for the taking. This is people’s future savings, so we have to be very cautious about how we release pension money into investment.

“The first thing we have to do is to relax the rules cautiously and with many safeguards so we don’t lose pensioners’ money and cause a problem in the future.

“Definitely we are going to put things in place such as the infrastructure bond that we are releasing that will encourage pension funds to invest but invest safely,” she said.

The Minister also said that the federal government has set up a committee to look into the financial impact of waivers that have been given by the government.

“Over the last five years we have given away one trillion Naira in waivers. It is quite significant and we believe that it needs to be looked at.

“Import duty waivers alone is 503 billion, VAT waivers is 227 billion. We are now going to look at what the cost benefits of these waivers are, what are the jobs that they have created.

“What we found is that they have been accused in some cases. We found that methods used to manage them are manual and therefore there is a lot of manipulation which we intend to address.”

Diversification: Experts Urge FG To Strengthen Private Sector

Private sectorThe immediate past chairman of Nigeria Economic Summit Group and the Nigeria South Chamber Of Commerce, Folusho Philips, wants government to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive in the diversification process.

This comes as Nigerians continue to intensify calls for the diversification of Nigeria’s economy in the face of weakening oil price.

Mr Phillips was speaking at a business meeting in the Rivers State capital put together by the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture on business opportunities in Nigeria beyond oil.

Meanwhile, the President of the chamber, Emi Membere-Otaji, said that it was time for the government to remove all forms of bottle necks for ease of doing business in the country.

Diversification Of Nigeria’s Economy Now A Matter Of Urgency – Buhari

diversificationPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Guangzhou, China, said that his administration would take urgent steps to ensure the diversification of Nigeria’s economy by encouraging new investments in mining, agriculture and manufacturing.

Speaking at a reception in his honour by the Communist Party of China, President Buhari said that Nigeria would welcome the support of the Chinese government, foreign investors and local businesses for efforts to diversify the nation’s economy.

The President noted that the diversification of the Nigerian economy was long overdue as continued reliance on crude oil exports had always made the economy vulnerable to shocks.

‘‘This time we will be more deliberate. The government and businesses will be involved,” President Buhari said.

In his remarks, the Secretary of the Communist Party, who is also the Governor of the Guangdong Province, Mr Hu Chinhua, pledged that the region will support the implementation of all the bilateral agreements reached with the Chinese government during President Buhari’s visit.

President Buhari also visited the Sino-Singapore Knowledge City in Guangzhou, which showcases advancements by China in medical, science and technological inventions.