Analysts have prescribed huge spending – especially on capital projects – as a way out of the current economic recession facing the country. However, most of these vital funds are domiciled in the private sector where ironically companies are folding up daily while others are relocating their operations and funds to more economically stable countries like Ghana, with resultant capital flight out of a cash-starved economy here in Nigeria. To your informed mind, how can the current administration check capital flight and get the economy back on track with injection of cash and capital projects?
* Government must improve the investment climate to encourage investors to not only invest but stay, and offer tax holidays based on volume of investment /proposed investment. 2. Exploit local talent by doing and offering credit facilities to local entrepreneurs. The local entrepreneurs/SMEIs are the bedrock of our economy. Besides a large consumer population, the growth of local enterprise is a key factor in attracting FDI from multinationals. A thriving SMEI scene is a clear sign of a healthy, stable economy which is what attracts FDI e.g. U.S Silicon Valley, Singapore, India, China, our fledging Yaba ICT enclave.
– Mr. Utibe Uko, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
* Huge chunks of public funds have been hidden away in foreign banks by elites. Such open or clandestine, legal or illegal movement of large sums of money from Nigeria to foreign banks due to our poor economy is unpatriotic, murderous and criminal. Huge sums of cash have been corruptly and systematically looted from Nigerian treasuries and illegally stashed away in foreign banks. Over time our economy deteriorated, resulting in inflation and recession. Many investors are withdrawing their monies in chunks and relocating their much-needed services to countries of stable or higher economies. Such tax evaders and asset protectors are criminal violators of the nation’s law for which they must be dispossessed of these wealth which must be duly returned to the right sources in Nigeria. Culprits must all be punished severely. Custodians of such stolen monies, wealth must repatriate same back to the rightful sources please. We must liberalise our economy urgently to leave the woods. Local production and consumption must be encouraged too. Further delay is dangerous please.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State
* The government of the day should encourage meritocracy rather than the ‘my brother syndrome’ they are employing today.
– Mr. Mark Clement, Calabar, Cross River State
* It is indeed disheartening to hear or see our indigenous companies being folded up over the years. Our textile industries, the greatest employers of labour that were supposed to have been revived since this regime came into power are still abandoned. To check capital flight, funds that are domiciled in the private companies should be retrieved and pumped into these moribund indigenous companies which can then bounce back to help support our nation’s growth process. The worst thing is that businesses are folding up when imports to the country have been banned. Let us seriously pray for our country.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna
* Government can start by really going after those criminals who had looted the treasuries in their ‘service to the fatherland’ and stashed such funds abroad. You would be amazed at the billions in foreign currencies stashed in numbered accounts in banking enclaves around the world by Nigerian looters, some of which are lost forever once the looter dies. If these funds can be recovered after the necessary procedures and looters hanged publicly, potential looters will desist from toeing the same corrupt path. Secondly, the federal government should step up bi-lateral or multi-lateral agreements with some of these looters’ destinations, whereby any ‘loot’ coming from Nigerians into their countries can be flagged for Nigerian authorities to track and recover same. Thirdly, government must put in the necessary basic infrastructure, incentives and operating environment for the existing industries and companies to survive and to help revive vital moribund industries like textiles. This will help keep the capital here and also guarantee jobs for unemployed Nigerians. Lastly, government must spend its way out of this recession, through massive investments in capital projects and agriculture; to create a positive ripple effect.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State
* The immigration personnel at all our entry and exit points road, sea, air, should deny capital from emigrating, not so? Good question; have a good laugh.
– Dr. Patrick Ekeji, Abuja
* Capital flight is an open or clandestine, legal or illegal movement if large sums of money from an economically or politically unstable country to a stable one (country), causing all the challenges in Nigeria today. Continual capital projects’ investment and implementation, its monitoring and fixing, in addition to regulation, frequent auditing or checking and balancing e.t.c. will lead Nigeria out of the woods of this recession. Nationwide small-scale and micro industries especially at the grassroots are vital. Complete loot recovery is paramount. The three arms of government must truly unite to accomplish all these goals and more. Unity is strength and it is all we need to revamp the economy.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State
* Capital projects vary e.g. roads construction, building of social infrastructure e.t.c. Borrowing money to fund such projects ends up in private pockets of cabals, as such projects do not generate revenue and end uncompleted, but funding projects such as construction of railway lines, building of industries. And textiles e.t.c. could be accepted. Previous bad experience proved lack of financial control by the three arms of government. Unless we have competent leadership with the love to move the country forward as one entity, devoid of tribal, religious or ethnic sentiments, corruption will continue to becloud us.
– Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna
* Capital projects’ execution is not Nigeria’s problem, but did they (all actors and stakeholders) follow due process in the implementation of past projects? The truth of the matter is that we don’t value projects before execution, and at the end this loophole will affect the people and worsen their plight.
– Mrs. Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State
* Protectionism is the way forward. There is no country in the world that has developed that doesn’t practice one form of protectionism or another. Government must make a deliberate decision to give domestic industries all they need in terms of support not bailout. For example, tax holidays for troubled companies, protecting home-grown agriculture and processing companies through increasing tariffs on imported food items which will easily meet domestic demands such as tomato paste. Government should start patronising local companies for things like furniture, road construction, and fabric e.t.c. so we know that indeed change begins with the promoter of the concept.
– Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos Plateau State
* The diversification of the economy, infrastructure development and security will attract investments and do Nigeria a lot of good both in the short and long-term.
– Miss Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State
Top tip: Retrieve stolen funds
Second: Improve investment environment
Third: Protect local economy, production
Radical tip: Hang looters!
Total no of respondents: 11
Highest location: Lagos (5)
Next Week: Can Skilled Returnees be Re-absorbed in Nigeria?
With the looming fallouts from the exit of Britain from the European Union (Brexit) and the upset victory of the United States President-elect Donald Trump, many skilled (and unskilled) Nigerians resident abroad – especially in the US and UK – are apprehensive about their status, and there are talks of some of them returning home to Nigeria to begin new lives in their fatherland. To you, does Nigeria have the required environment and capacity to re-absorb these skilled returnees, who have the potential to help turn around the economy positively? What can be done to ensure the right setting for the returnees to successfully deploy their valued skills?
Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (November 17 & Monday, November 21) to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, AND firstname.lastname@example.org. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, November 24