A senior lecturer at the Lagos Business School, Doyin Salami, on Friday said Nigeria would need to think away from government for the nation to innovate out of recession. Mr. Salami, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, said the nation would need to provide suitable environment for the private sector to be the driver of investment.
The economist, who pointed out that Nigeria must promote the role of the private sector to achieve this, said this at a roundtable organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE.
According to Mr. Salami, in addition to creating jobs for the unemployed, the government also must look into ways it would take consumers and other corporate businesses out of pressure.
The don specifically said that, although there would be challenges in terms of sustaining the idea, the government needs to review the minimum wage to free consumers from economic pressures.
“Consumers are under pressure,” he lamented.
Similarly, Mr. Salami explained that the handling of the budget is also crucial to the nation’s growth after moving out of recession, stating that how the budget is funded is fundamental to growth.
According to him, competitiveness is key to sustained and sustainable growth and the executive orders issued by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo would engender competitiveness.
Mr. Salami, however, said the fact Nigeria would come out of recession is no more interesting a development as all economic indices currently show, but the nation must put measures in place to ensure sustained and sustainable growth after coming out of recession.
“If it doesn’t reflect in Q2 (second quarter), the number will reflect in Q3 (third quarter),” he said of the nation’s status in terms of moving out of recession, adding that the nation must however set itself on a growth path that is “sustained, sustainable and inclusive.”
On her part, a panellist, Ngozi Adebiyi, noted that to innovate, Nigeria would need to build the human capacity of Nigerians.
Mrs. Adebiyi, Chief Executive Officer of OutsideHR, explained that the system would need to teach people out to innovate through entrepreneurship.
The Managing Director, Okomu Oil Palm Company, Graham Hefer, noted that Nigerian youth can also tap into opportunities in the agricultural sector.
According to him, they may not necessarily innovate but look into what is being done successfully in other African countries in Agricultural revolution and replicate same in Nigeria.
On his part, Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC, said beyond innovation, it is critical to also look into the value of the innovation.
Mr. Sogunle explained that many business initiatives may not add value to the nation’s economy, adding that the value chain of such business must be carefully studied to facilitate growth.
On her part, a representative of the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nike Akande, urged the government to ease the business environment for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The roundtable event, supported by Bloomberg, held at the Exchange House in Lagos.