Chief Executive Officer of Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria (RMB Nigeria), Mr. Michael Larbie

Nume Ekeghe

The Chief Executive Officer of Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria (RMB Nigeria), Mr. Micheal Larbie, has stressed the need for enhanced collaboration between the private and public sector to boost economic growth.

This, he also said would help the federal government realise its objective in its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

Speaking on the sidelines of RMB Nigeria’s fifth anniversary celebration in Lagos yesterday, Larbie said: “For the first time, there is an ERGP that links to the budget and hopefully it leads to real sector focus by bringing the public and the private sector to talk about the issues that hinder the ability to progress on what we need to do to move the country forward.

“So that lays a foundation for us to be able to support our clients more in the real sector. Banks, insurance companies as well as the Pension Fund Administrators have a critical role to play by working with government and other players to duly mobilise the right finances that support relatively longer-term funding that is needed to fund roads, bridges and so on.”

On his part, the Managing Director Sigma Pensions Limited, Mr. Dave Uduanu, also called on government to do more in creating sustainable opportunities for the private sector to thrive

He added: “The key is for the private sector to engage more with the government and that the private sector should do more as well as investment banks and intermediaries should do prepare projects that investors such as insurance and pension funds can invest in.”

When asked if the PFAs would invest in infrastructure development, he said: “The pension funds are looking at forming a consortium to look at such investments because those are large scale investments and such investments are usually beyond one pension fund.”

Commenting on the ERGP, he said: “The ERGP envisages increasing the government’s revenue from six per cent to 15per cent in 5 years. So that seems to me that they are in a hurry.

“So, in terms of timeline, these are things that need to happen now. So, if you look at tax the break, government can begin to do it now. “But increasing the revenue of government, essentially, government needs to improve tax administration.

“On the fiscal side and some of the interest rate incentives we are asking for, it is for government to focus on the right things and they are not difficult to do.”