LCCI, Teriba, others outline path to economic recovery

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Oyetunji Abioye

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and economic experts including the Chief Executive Officer of Economics Associates, Dr. Ayo Teriba, have given insights into how the country can enhance economic recovery.

They spoke at a breakfast meeting organised by the Financial Services Group of the LCCI.

The event, themed, “Economic recovery and growth plan – Road map to a sustainable economy”, was attended by key industry stakeholders and professionals.

Teriba, in his keynote address, said the country was thrown into economic crisis last year because it failed to open up the economy to foreign investors.

He, therefore, advised the Federal Government to attract foreign investors by removing its monopoly in the provision of certain public infrastructure.

The expert cited the example of India and Saudi Arabia as countries that grew their economies through privatisation.

Teriba said, “The government must break its monopoly and open up the economy to foreign investors just as it did in the telecommunications sector. The government spent 40 years protecting the monopoly of NITEL. Where is NITEL now when the sector was open to investors?

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The Economics Associates CEO also advised the Central Bank of Nigeria to create foreign exchange buffers for the economy.

He said, “The rail, power transmission, pipelines, health institutions, national universities are still under government monopoly.  Economic policy is not about talking, it is taking action. The Indian government releases a list of sectors where foreign investors can come in every January. Saudi Arabia is doing the same thing. Every year, they engage investors.”

The President, LCCI, Mrs. Nike Akande, commended the Federal Government for coming up with the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan but stressed the need to draw a comprehensive road map.

This, according to her, is imperative for the country’s highly import-dependent and consumption-driven economy.

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The Chairperson, Financial Services Group, LCCI, Mrs. Mojisola Bakare, who is also the General Manager, Corporate Banking, Sterling Bank Plc, said economic recovery plans needed to be supported with fiscal and strategic policies.

She said the topic of the session was motivated by the recent launch of the ERGP by the Federal Government.

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