‘How to tame imminent recession era’

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To fast track the nation’s economic growth and avoid elongated recession period, capital market stakeholders have stressed the need for government at all levels to reach wider consensus and define major sectorial priorities, which must urgently be introduced into policy formulation.

Besides, they also canvassed domestic private equity that would enable distribution mechanism for mobilisation of high net worth wealth.

The stakeholders, who spoke during the 12th yearly PEARL Awards Public Lectures, with theme: ‘Global and National Socio-Economic Challenges and Renaissance: Wither the Nigerian Capital Market’, held in Lagos at the weekend, warned that Nigeria is currently facing a huge growth challenge, noting that failure to address it on a macro level will lead to a long recession.

They submitted that these priority sectors should be supported with incentives and other palliatives measures in order to attract more investments from the sectors.

Specifically, the Guest Lecturer and the President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, who argued that economic growth is the panacea to most of Nigeria’s challenges, maintained that government must be strategic, if it wants to fast track the nation’s economic growth.

“We need to pick and agree that these are priority sectors in the economy. We need to give incentives and palliatives to the sectors. We don’t need to have a ‘fine’ that is defining a priority economic sector as witnessed recently in the ICT sector. Nigeria recorded negative GDP growth in Q1, 2016. We have a big challenge around growth.

“As the economy shrinks, employment shrinks. Nigeria has to create six million jobs on a yearly basis but we are losing jobs, while unemployment rate is getting higher from 10 to 12 per cent. Nigeria faces a huge growth challenge and if not dealt with on a macro level, there would be a long recession.” He warned.

He identified the nation’s socio-economic challenges to include; growth, infrastructure, financial environment, ease of doing business, human capital and security.

“We have a lot of market uncertainties since 2011. Policy context in Nigeria has been designed to create market uncertainties and if you are a business man operating in Nigeria, you see a lot of uncertainties; the PIB, volatility and volatility plus uncertainty results to amplified and huge growth challenge.”

For the stock market, Imoukhuede argued that there was need to transform the market from primary commodity market to a sophisticated one.

He also advocated for the integration of capital market into public policy to create an enabling environment for investment, entrepreneurship and development

Also speaking at the event, the former President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Hayford Alile urged government to manage the social environment effectively and keep it free from corruption, stealing and other vices in order to grow the economy and attract investment into the country.

Alile said: “Morality cannot legislate integrity. Some of us that seek recruitment interview have gone through the agony of having graduates finding it difficult to spell their manes.

“Authority should manage our social environment well and keep it free from corruption, stealing and other vices. Those corrupt should be dealt with instantly.

“The global negative perception of Nigeria is regrettable. I commend the law enforcement agencies for the work done so far. They should not allow themselves to be used to settle scores outside their mandate. The time for change is now.” He said.

He, therefore, advised to hand over schools to the missionaries in order to grow the nation’s educational sector, as well as inculcate virtues and morals into the system.

The Managing Director of NASD OTC PLC, Bola Ajomale, explained that for Nigeria to achieve the desired growth, it must record a GDP rate of eight to 10per cent.

“Having looked at the lecture, its now a clarion call on all stakeholders to contribute their quarter towards the growth of our market,” he said.

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