Leading independent investment banking firm, Afrinvest West Africa Limited has identified structural reforms that are essential for strong economic growth and prosperity of the Nigerian economy.
Listing the reforms during the unveiling of 2019 Banking Sector Report titled ‘Beyond the Precipice: Pulling Back from the Brink’ at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos, recently, Group Managing Director, Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited, Ike Chioke, said for the nation’s economy to achieve greater momentum, there is the need for the country to stop doing the wrong things.
These wrong things, according to him, include a constitution that encourages indolence whereby states go to Abuja for monthly allocation, exaggerating population numbers for higher revenue share, excessive borrowing for consumption, subsidizing unavailable electricity, borrowing while maintaining huge subsidies, and subsidising petrol consumption.
Speaking at the event which had Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, as a special guest of honour and attended by stakeholders in the nation’s financial sector, Chioke said the nation’s economy will continue to lag behind until these wrong things are dealt with.
In the place of these wrong things, the Afrinvest boss said the right things the country must begin to do include decentralising policing and security apparatus.
“A situation where the responsibility of policing and securing the country is saddled on one man in Abuja does not make for effectiveness. Our policing must be community-driven for us to have better results. The investment follows a secure and peaceful environment, so we need to urgently decentralise our policing and security apparatus to engender a business-friendly environment, which in turn will boost investments,” he said.
Chioke listed other right things necessary to engender economic growth and prosperity to include enforcing total enrolment of primary school-age children, the building of additional seaports away from Lagos for security and logistical efficiency, making health insurance mandatory, cutting the cost of governance, and removal of minerals from the exclusive list in the constitution.
The Afrinvest boss went further to identify smart things that the country needs to embrace for strong economic growth and prosperity.
These, he said, include leveraging annual capital expenditure allocation in partnership with the private sector to target critical infrastructure development on a long-term basis, prioritising and building rail to connect major commercial hubs in the country, driving broadband penetration by easing rights of way challenges, and rapid adoption of technology to fast-track human capital development.