CICN points way to economic growth
Speaking during the institute’s yearly conference on Monday, President of CICN, Dr. Wale Olasoji lamented that successive Nigerian governments have concentrated on crude oil as its major export because of the large revenue it generates. This has led the economy to ignore the other sectors as well as the potential revenue they can generate.
Olasoji also said the various policies implemented in the past to correct this problem have failed to do so partly because the workability of such policies was not properly evaluated, partly because they were not strictly implemented and partly for other reasons.
“In order to increase the revenue that accrues to the economy through the exports of non-oil commodities, the Buhari government needs to put in place those policies that will enhance the productivity of the individual sectors and subsectors of the economy and that will encourage the exportation of non-oil commodities. If he does this, the economic prosperity of Nigeria will commence.
According to the CICN chief, the All Progressives Congress administration needs to embark on a formulation of an explicit export promotion programme based on principles of comparative advantage or disadvantage.
“Government also has to work at reducing trade dependence on developed countries by looking for other markets, particularly developing countries. Olasoji said inter-regional trade between sub-Saharan African countries should be encouraged because of the relatively low transportation cost and lax importation barriers.
“The government should encourage private investment, both local and foreign, through adequate provision of infrastructures, while our export base should be diversified in favour of non-oil commodities not only to increase their contribution to GDP but also to help cushion the effect of price shocks in the international oil (crude oil) market”.
Olasoji added, citing the example of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, he said oil explorers, producers and exporters should be persuaded to diversify their interests into non-oil commodities as well or they could be obligated to somehow assist with the exports of non-oil commodities.
Taking a cue from his campaign promises, Olasoji said currently, the economy bleeds profusely from corruption and our expectation is that this bleeding will be moderated from now on. This should happen through a combination of appropriate policy choices, deterrent sanctions for perpetrators and rewards for integrity.
He added that there should be a new momentum on the part of government to address the huge infrastructure deficit in the economy. “We desire a higher dedication to infrastructure improvement especially with regard to power, roads, and railways. Current reforms in the power sector should be sustained.