2019: 7 Areas Nigeria's Next President Must Focus On
As Nigeria prepares for the General Elections in 2019, Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited has set an economic agenda for the next administration that will assume leadership of the country on May 29, 2019.
Presenting the 2018 edition of the Annual Nigeria Banking Sector Report in Abuja on Monday, Group Managing Director of Afrinvest, Ike Chioke, noted that there is an opportunity to reset the dynamics of the economy and build new growth levers that will propel Nigeria on the path of progress in 2019.
The report, titled “An Economic Agenda for a New Government,” called on the new administration that will assume office on May 29, 2019 to reform seven critical areas namely:
1. Oil and Gas
2. Power Sector Reforms
3. Trade and Investment
5. Transportation and Infrastructure
6. Human Capital Development and
Speaking on the Petroleum Industry Bills currently before the National Assembly, Chioke said Nigeria has lost over $20 billion worth of investments in the oil and gas sector in the last 10 years due to non-passage of the bills.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had declined assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bills (PIGB), even as other critical bills like the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill, Petroleum Industry Administration Bill and Host Community Bills are yet to be passed by the National Assembly.
Highlights of the event was the launch of the 2018 Nigerian Banking Sector Report.
The event also featured panel discussion with renowned experts across the key development areas from both the public and private sector in the country.
The panelists include: Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; Olivier Follin, Country Manager of Development Finance Institution, PROPARCO; Riad Baloukji GMD Boulos Group of Companies; Munachi Okoye and Ifeanyi Obiakor who also proffered actionable solutions in the seven critical areas.
In an exclusive interview with BOUNCE NEWS, Follin disclosed that the development finance institution has invested over $700 million in Nigeria in the last eight years.
He said PROPARCO has provided loans to Nigerian banks as well as Federal and state governments to fund capital projects.
While calling for a reform of the nation's school curriculum in line with modern realities, he stressed the need for Nigerian banks to project the country positively to the outside world.
He said: "We believe in Nigeria. We need stability in Nigeria. We have confidence and a lot of that belongs to Nigerians themselves. We cannot fund 100% of the projects maybe 40 to 50%. And we have to find the rest from other investors.
“That brings the confidence we need. The issue I see in the future is about vocational training and education. This is an area where you must invest a lot, and probably change the approach.
“The usual school of teacher in a four-wall classroom may be outdated today in Nigeria. I will compare it to the GSM against the fixed land phone. You have gone far ahead of some European countries. Mobile money here is something which is not frightening anybody. But it still frightens a lot of Europeans.
"So, we could do the same probably in education. With this kind of approach, Nigeria should attract a lot of investors because you are a big country, you have a lot of capacity in terms of agriculture.
“You have a lot of wealth with oil and gas and mining, plus you are a country where people are very positive minded. And that also is something interesting. They have to show that they are ready to take some risks with partners," Follin said.
On his part, Baloukji said: "The next government needs to improve on security. We need long term money to focus and a bit more on security. FDIs will come. They are a bit hesitant today. Nigeria is the hub for West Africa".
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