Financial and economic experts have stressed the need for increased real sector investment to stimulate economic growth.
The experts spoke at the BusinessDay 2020 Nigeria Economic Outlook Conference held in Lagos recently.
Speaking at a panel discussion, the Managing Director, Old Mutual Life Assurance, Mr. Olusegun Omosehin, said Nigeria should not lose sight of the huge potential inherent in its human capital. He said there should be more investment in real sector to leverage population growth for economic development.
“Nigeria’s huge population of about 2001 million people is rather a blessing. We have an active population that is attractive to investors. People between the ages of 15-64 years makes up 50 per cent of our population,” Omoshein said.
“With the right policies, Nigeria can fully optimise the power inherent in its huge population. We need to focus more on youth entrepreneurship and support the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)”, Omosehin noted.
As an intervention, Omosehin explained that the insurance sector has the potential of enhancing a viable environment for engagement for the businesses by undertaking capital investments, while also implementing medium and long term insurance policies, which could support the SMEs.
“The insurance sector is capable of accelerating economic growth in Nigeria. According to him, insurance sector needs the right policies to become the backbone of the economy. “With the right policies in place, insurance can encourage long-term savings and mobilise funds to finance critical infrastructure deficit in the areas of transportation, power and housing to accelerate economic growth”, he explained
In his reaction, the Chief Economist, Development Bank of Nigeria, Prof Joseph Nnanna, also urged the government to focus on investing in quality education, infrastructure, SMEs and the girl child empowerment, to enhance development and propel Nigeria for a double-digit growth.