Bankers in Nigeria have said it is cogent for the country to rethink its strategy of handling some of its economic activities and that the Continental Free Trade Agreement should be rectified.
The President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Dr Uche Olowu, who spoke during a CIBN’s event in Lagos stated, “Specifically, it is generally believed that the prospect of the country depends on the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which anchors the nation’s industrialization.
“In view of this, we call on the Federal Government to ensure that the ERGP is faithfully, efficiently and speedily implemented.
“In addition, the country needs to rethink its strategy of handling some of its economic activities. For instance, according to the African Development Bank, Nigeria needs to re-orient its federal budget currently dominated by recurrent spending towards more capital expenditure and accumulating savings to sustain social spending.”
He was worried that delays in budget approval and signing had become predominant that it was not available for implementation in most cases in the first quarter and rare cases, a better part of the second quarter over the past 15 years.
Incidentally, he added, 2019 budget was not being an exception as it had led to uncertainty in the system, affecting the delivery of projects which had profound impact on productivity in the economy.
He said, “I, therefore, wish to implore the executive and legislative arms of the government to close ranks to release the budget on time.
Also, I wish to encourage the government to ratify the Continental Free Trade Agreement designed to create a single continental market for goods and services as well as the free movement of business persons and investments across the continent.”
Despite the efforts of the Federal Government, he lamented that people were still living with insecurity, huge infrastructural deficit and high poverty levels, among others.
“Notwithstanding, the country’s economy is slowly recovering, but efforts must be intensified to address the identified challenges,” he said.