Economic blueprint that will enhance living standards
Reforms in oil and gas sector
Sustainable anti-corruption measures
By Babajide Komolafe, Peter Egwuatu, Franklin Alli, Godwin Oritse, Rosemary Onuoha, Naomi Uzor &, Jonah Nwokpoku
LAGOS—The incoming government of Major General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) should come out with a blue print for the economy that will enhance the living standard of Nigerians, ensure acceleration of reforms in the oil and gas sector in order to attract more investments in both the upstream and downstream segments of the sector, and wage sustainable war on corruption.
These were the expectations of operators in the various sectors of the economy from the incoming government.
President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Alhaji Remi Bello said: “The incoming government should ensure acceleration of reforms in the oil and gas sector in order to attract more private investments in both the upstream and downstream segments of the sector. The chamber urges the incoming administration to address the fundamental of the high cost of doing business and low productivity. Ensure a level playing field for all investors across all sectors with regard to import tariffs, funding opportunities, tax incentives.”
On his part, Chief Chuku Wachuku, former Director- General, National Directorate of Employment and immediate past President of National Association of Small Scale Industry, NASSI, said: “The new President must partner with the broader organised private sector and not select five per cent which cannot create the impetus for growth.”
According to National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, “The emphasis right now should be sustainable attack on the issues of corruption.
The new President, according to Mr. Tunji Olugbodi, Managing Director, Verdant Zeal, should introduce policies and implementation of those policies which will guarantee a change that is more pragmatic.
Mr. Felix Aighobai, Director, Sales, Euro Global Foods and Distilleries Limited and Director, Membership and Public Relations, Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, NASME, Nerus Ekezie, however, advised Buhari to start from where his predecessor stopped. He said: “We are particular on continuation on most of the sound economic policies, like the agricultural transformation and the various SME development initiatives, including the sustainability of the SME intervention funds and the establishment of the Development Bank of Nigeria.”
National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, said: “All the reports of all the committees that have been piling dust, whether seen or unseen but without any action taking place should be looked into. It is not a matter of setting up further committees but they should look at previous committees’ reports.”
He also expressed hope that the Buhari administration would review the implementation of the controversial national automotive policy.
E-Commerce operators said that they expect the new President to introduce polices that would reignite the interest of foreign investors in Nigeria. According to the President/CEO, Shoptomydoor.com, an international online shop, Nduka Udeh, “the President-elect must through his anti corruption stance, bring more transparency into the business landscape in order to drive foreign direct investment.”
Founder/CEO, Privateproperty.com.ng, Femi Taiwo, said Buhari’s victory will give way to foreign direct investment through capital inflows in our stock markets and investments in our manufacturing and power sectors.
Capital market operators
Capital Market operators on their part called on the incoming government to address the infrastructure gaps in the economy by using the capital market instruments.
The coalition of capital market operators under the aegis of the capital market alliance, which comprises of Albert Okumagba, President Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, CIS, Mr. Emeka Madubuike, Chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria, ASHON, and Mr. Victor Ogiemwonyi, Chairman, Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria, AIHN, said: “At present, the Nigerian capital market is underutilized relative to its absorptive capacity. Therefore, the Federal Government’s goal of diversification of the economy would be reinforced if the capital market is deepened to enable it fund the capital expenditure over the short term to medium term period.”
Okumagba said: “The core capital market operators should work with the regulators to come with pragmatic timetable which will be endorsed by the Federal Government for the commencement of viable Commodity Exchanges which are either privately owned or government owned.”
Mr. Ogiemwonyi said: “Government borrowing rate in the capital market should drop to avoid crowding out of funds in the capital market so as to make the market attractive for private sector to raise funds.”
On the expectations of the insurance industry from the incoming government, insurance operators advised that economic growth should be the main focus of the new government. They urged the incoming President to come out with a blue print for the economy that will enhance the living standard of Nigerians.
Director General of Nigerian Insurers Association, Mr. Sunday Thomas, said: “We expect increased government patronage of insurance, compliance with compulsory insurances as well as insurance of government assets, as well as review of the mode of taxation on insurance services. In all, we expect the new government to build on the achievement of the previous administration.”