By Babajide Komolafe
Low interest rate regime and long term funds are critical to development of the real sector and realisation of the vision 2020.
Honourary Adviser to the President on Electric Power, Engineer Joseph Makoju stated this at the post annual general meeting talk of the International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN).
“He said, “The truth of the matter is, despite the entire noise making about getting the real sector to drive economic development; the fundamental requirement is development funding. Low interest rate and long term funds must be available.
No matter the claim of what is being done or achieved in this regard, they are just not there. Efforts being made through institutions like Bank of Industry are insignificant especially when compared to what other competing developing economies are doing”.
He noted that presently, the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the nation’s gross domestic products (GDP) is low. “The sector’s contribution to exports is zero, as most of our imports are manufactured goods. However, no nation achieved development without significant increase in the contribution of the manufacturing sector to GDP.”
He said that the manufacturing sector has high growth potential due to the natural endowment of the country, but the development of the sector had been undermine in the past by inconsistent government policies. He said the situation has however improved in recent times due to stable macroeconomic stability and reforms in various sectors of the economy.
He cited the example of the cement industry, which now produces all the cement consumed in the country, as an example of how to use government policy to enhance development of the real sector. Makoju said that what is required is for government to play the role of an enabler, by putting in place measures that will aid manufacturing across the country.
Meanwhile, ICCN has made a case for government to actively engage the private sector for the development of the economy. Speaking at the 14th annual general meeting of the Chamber in Lagos last week, Chairman of the Chamber, Mr. Babatunde Savage said, “The active engagement of the private sector is necessary for the success of sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
The role of ICC to foster more foreign direct investment through global presence and drive improving global recovery strategies is quite germane. To that end, ICC Nigeria would focus more on sustaining investors’ confidence in the system through the introduction of ICC products and services in a bid to establish international best practices, which would ultimately help build peace and prosperity.”