By Sunday Ehigiator
Experts who spoke at the economic summit organised by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Zone 20 Lagos at the weekend have highlighted some recipe for business growth in 2019.
In the summit tagged, ‘Economic Outlook and Prospects in Election Year’, the experts urged entrepreneurs to keep hopes alive, even in the advent of the coming general elections, saying things can only get better.
In his keynote address, BAA’s Chief Executive Officer and Economist, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, started his speech with a quote from the January 2019 World Bank Global Economic Prospects, which asserts that
“Public policy is not made by ‘whispering in the finance minister’s ear.’ Rather, it is made by arriving at a political consensus. That consensus is more likely to improve people’s lives if the public is informed with evidence”.
He said the economy has had impressive macroeconomic stability in the last two years.
He however said, “there is hope for entrepreneurs to survive in this election year if they can get their profiling right, get the right location and know the needs of their clients in this period of electioneering instead of taking decisions out of panic.”
In his assessment of the Nigerian economy, he noted that export was still expanding strongly on the back of hydrocarbons earnings.
“The summarised data shows that oil earnings led the economy into recession and brought it out.
“Oil generates most of the earnings, but accounts for less than 10 per cent of GDP.
“A disconnect of sort, as its linkage to the rest of the economy is weak. Agriculture is dominant and holds the best prospect for wealth creation for ‘little capital’ households. The second quarter 2018 GDP shows that oil amounted about 8.55 per cent of it while non-oil had 91.45 per cent.
“Portfolio investments (PI) in money market instruments dominated since Q4 2017 due to opening up of treasury bills to foreign investors. Nigeria remains an attractive investment destination. PI accounted for 51 per cent of total in 2017 and 69.2 per cent as at Q3 2018.”
In her address, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, highlighted various interventions by the federal government to boost the economy as well as economic plans the Buhari-led administration was set to implement in 2019 if re-elected.
According to Oduwole, “2018 was a year of extensive collaboration between the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and Key Stakeholders on Ease of Doing Business (EoDB).
“Over the last three years, Nigeria has increased its distance to Frontier (DTF) score by over 11 basis points.
“In the same period, we moved up to 24 places in the World Bank doing business ranking. 32 Nigerian states improved in their ease of doing business environment led by Kaduna, Enugu, Abia, Lagos and Anambra state.
“An EoDB survey adjudged Nigerians reforms as impactful in terms of reduction in time cost and procedures of doing business.
“In 2019, PEDEC will continue to work in collaboration with MDAs and other public and private sector partners to ensure this high-impact intervention is sustained.
This year is a year of consolidation”. She said.
According to her, the administration in 2019, would be focused on legislative reform, regulatory reforms, National Trading Platforms (FMF/NCS), and Airport Concession (MOT).
On his part, Tropica Natural Limited’s boss, Mr. Biola Ogunrinde, urged entrepreneurs to be proactive, saying “he who fails to prepare, prepares to fail.”
The CEO, Zinox Group, Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh, also highlighted the significance of technology to businesses.