By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
A Lagos-based financial expert, Mr Bismarck Rewane, on Friday expressed optimism that Nigeria would get out of recession by 2018 with the right economic policies.
Rewane, also the Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Ltd., said this at the 2016 Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) Triennial Delegates Conference/Gala Night in Lagos.
The financial expert said that the Federal Government must embrace the best economic policies urgently to addressing the recession.
“It will take a minimum of 18 months for Nigeria to get out of recession, and signs of recovery will start showing in 2017 with the best policies.
“Nigeria will start showing symptoms of wellness in 2017 and by 2018, Nigeria will be well again,” Rewane said.
According to him, there is sense of urgency, honesty and desperation in addressing the country’s economic challenges.
The financial expert said: “If we fail this time as a country, everybody fails.”
He said that government must raise funds from multinational agencies, reduce interest rate and debt servicing to achieve the desired growth.
Rewane called for an expansion in credit supply and reduction of the Cash Reverse Requirement (CRR) for banks to lend to the real sector.
The financial expert insisted that redundant assets could be concessioned to bring the country out of recession.
Rewane said that public schools, hospitals and public hospitals needed to be more efficient and effective to reduce pressure on foreign exchange.
Rewane attributed the nation’s economic challenges to “policy disalignment,” external imbalances and internal imbalances that led to low productivity.
Mr Arnold Ekpe, former Group Managing Director, Ecobank Transnational, in a keynote address, said that government needed to reflate the economy through infrastructure development to create economic activities.
Ekpe said that effective power sector was paramount for the growth and development of other sectors of the economy.
“A lot of countries had moved ahead of Nigeria. South Africa now is number one in Africa. We should try and regain our position, we have the people, we have oil and other things. We need to take an action now,” he said.
Ekpe said that government and regulators should work together to deepen the nation’s bourse.
Mr Ikechukwu Kelikume of the Lagos Business School, said that there must be a balance in monetary and fiscal policy for the country to move forward.
Kelikume said that government must promote the non-oil export sector to increase the country’s export revenue.
He also called for tax rebate and tax holiday for local industries to encourage local manufacturers.
Dr Erastus Akingbola, former Managing Director, defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, said that government needed to change the current foreign exchange policy to encourage people with dollars to bring them into the country.
Akingbola said that stringent policies should be curtailed in order to bring the country out of recession.
He said that government must encourage entrepreneurs and exporters because they were the only ones that would create the needed jobs.
Akingbola also called for reduction in the cost of governance, noting that Nigerian political system was very expensive.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference was “Financial turbulence & regulatory framework in a recession economy.”