Di­rec­tor-gen­eral, La­gos Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try, Dr Muda Yusuf

The Punch - - POLITICS ON SUNDAY -

Gov­ern­ment should un­der­take ur­gent re­forms of the oil and gas sec­tor to un­lock the huge po­ten­tial in job cre­ation, in­vest­ment, rev­enue and forex earn­ings. Re­form will also re­duce the cor­rup­tion and leak­ages in the sec­tor. The Pe­tro­leum In­dus­try Bill promised by the Pres­i­dent should be ex­pe­di­tiously pre­sented for con­sid­er­a­tion by the Na­tional Assem­bly. This re­form should be given ut­most pri­or­ity. Also, the Nige­rian ports are a night­mare for most in­vestors and the cost of cargo clear­ing is pro­hib­i­tive, while the pro­cesses are too vul­ner­a­ble to cor­rup­tion. Gov­ern­ment should fix the prob­lems, in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture, equip­ment and in­ef­fi­cient cargo pro­cess­ing. In ad­di­tion, the gov­ern­ment ob­vi­ously does not have the fi­nan­cial ca­pac­ity to fix the na­tion’s in­fra­struc­ture, we need to see ur­gent mea­sures to at­tract pri­vate cap­i­tal into in­fra­struc­ture fi­nanc­ing to ad­dress the huge deficit. The reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment needs to be more in­vest­ment friendly and the drive for rev­enue needs to be more strate­gic so as not to hurt in­vest­ment. They also need to demon­strate greater com­mit­ment to the pro­mo­tion of true fed­er­al­ism in or­der to un­lock the huge eco­nomic po­ten­tials at the sub-na­tional lev­els. There is need to also pro­mote an ur­gent re­view and re­struc­tur­ing of the power sec­tor. Cur­rent struc­ture has not served the in­ter­est of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. The Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria needs to un­der­take pe­ri­odic im­pact as­sess­ment of its poli­cies on the econ­omy, the in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment and the wel­fare of the peo­ple. Such mea­sures would en­rich the qual­ity of its poli­cies. There is also need to en­sure ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of Pres­i­den­tial Ex­ec­u­tive or­ders.

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