The Chief Executive Officer of Balmoral International Ltd, Otunba Adejare Adegbenro, has said Nigeria has not fully exited recession because some traces of causes of the monster are still very much visible around.
Adegbenro, grandson of former Premier of Western Region, Alhaji Dauda Adegbenro and a hero of Nigerian democracy, Pa Alfred Rewane, made the observation at a session with journalists at the weekend in Lagos.
According to him, until the roots causes of economic recession are completely tackled, Nigeria can still be said to be in recession.
He observed that the cause of the recession in the first place was an imported inflation characterised by devaluation of the Naira with a resultant multiplier effect of increase in the prices of goods and services.
He said, “Until the pressure placed on dollar by the country’s over reliance on imported goods are tackled, the value of the Naira will continue to depreciate and the country will always relapse into another rounds of recession.
“The government should focus on things that can generate forex and ensure production of most of the things we consume like food, petroleum products and export things that we have that the world needs like Bitumen, solid minerals among other things,” Adegbenro said.
On what the government can do to bring the dollar at par with the naira, he said the process “will be a long and enduring journey that is not too late however to start,
“The government should continue with the investment in agriculture with concerted effort to upscale to processing the produce from the farms or empower entrepreneurs that are interested in processing.”
“The government, also, needs to open up other ports across the country to ease the clearing of imports and exports to reduce the cost of inputs and factors of production.”
He urged the country’s leaders “to set up modular refineries that work in all the geopolitical zones of the country to support the production from the Dangote refinery and save the forex used in importing petroleum products.”
Adegbenro, however, lauded the government efforts towards moving the country forward, noting that a government that “is interested in completing abandoned infrastructural projects like major roads, railroads, power projects and Agro-allied projects is a government that is interested in getting the country working again.”
According to him, with the stable production of crude in Nigeria and fairly stable oil price, this government has the opportunity to diversify this economy and shift focus and over-reliance on oil, adding that, the government should also increase and encourage loans for SME across all vocations, ethnic groups and fields across the country.
Adegbenro, also, observed that many unemployed youths would make use of business opportunities if government could create a platform for awareness because most of them are ignorant of dynamic and economic changes in our environment, both locally and globally.
“The government should also focus on youth development through sports to curb crimes and position them for exportation of talents in the short to medium term and large allocation of the budget should be made for health and education with strict monitoring of usage of resources.
“The school curriculum should be reviewed to include basic sports like, football, swimming, gymnastics, basketball. All these would add up to giving the economy a boost as no policy is too small to add to the growth of economy of any country.”