By UDEME CLEMENT
The initiative by the Federal Government of Nigeria to host World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa, despite the security challenges in the country, to many experts, is a welcome development.
While some analysts said the forum would open new investment opportunities for Nigeria, others stated that Nigeria would benefit greatly from business networking opportunities and inter-change of new skills.
Nigeria stands to benefit from Public, Private Partnership (PPP) initiative: Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce, Muda Yusuf: The forum was a welcome development because of the positive impacts it would have on Nigeria’s economy now and in the long-run. These include, networking opportunity for businesses in various sectors of the economy and value in terms of exchange of new investment ideas that would benefit the local economy.
Also, some investors may want to form partnership with state governments in Nigeria for new investments in their states. The forum was a good initiative because we need foreign investors who should be willing to invest in infrastructure for Nigeria to build a strong economy capable of creating jobs, not just portfolio investors who are only interested in what to get out of Nigeria to build their own countries. Nigeria needs investment in construction, agro-allied industries and other sectors of the economy to promote inclusive growth.
The recent rebasing would help Nigeria’s economy greatly, because many investors in other parts of the world have come to realise that Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa. With this, investors would like to partner with local firms in the country.
Economic forum has value for Nigeria in the area of policy framework: Registrar, International Logistics and Administration, Mr. Mark Iloh: Nigeria would benefit from the economic forum in the area of policy formulation framework needed to rejuvenate the economy.
Economic policy strategy is quite imperative, because the economic policy of every nation is the bedrock upon which all other developmental related policies rest upon, be it industrial, production or trade policies. The summit focused on inclusive growth and good economic policy involves measure put in place by the government to ensure achievement of macro-economic goals. Such economic goals include price stability, relative full employment, economic growth and external payment balance.
Economic policy, therefore, gives a defined course of action on identified economic problems of the nation. With the re-classification of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which shows a huge increase, but on real terms very low impact on human development, it is time for policy redirection on those factors that will involve creation of jobs and capacity utilisation for industrial development.
The major components of economic policies, which must be re-directed include fiscal and monetary policies, trade and exchange rate policies as well as human development index. To achieve relative full employment, the policy must focus on industrial development strategy, through the use of Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs).
This would drive restructuring and diversification of the nation’s economy in order to reduce over dependence on oil. Government needs to achieve fiscal and balance of payment viability over time. Measures should be put in place to grow the potential of indigenous companies.
To achieve these objectives, it becomes necessary to adopt a new economic management strategy to encourage SMEs in areas like, reduction of company tax and credit facility for expansion.