The Group Managing Director of Lead Capital Plc, Prince Bimbo Olashore, has urged government to move the country forward by tapping into the under-utilized gold mines in order to increase income for the nation, having noted that the Nigerian economy is well diversified in terms of contribution to GDP, but that the source of government revenue is not diversified.
He said this during his speech on “Revenue Diversification-The Bedrock ?of Sustainable Economic Development”, at the induction of new professional members into the Association of Investment Advisers and Portfolio Managers, recently held in Lagos.
He advised that to reap the fruit of diversification, Government must get some economic-wide basics right which is not far-fetched from, employing good macro-economic management, running a counter cyclical fiscal policy to contain massive boom-bust cycles, soughting out exchange rate policy, opening trade policies, creating special places for selective credit policy, building other types of capital to complement natural resource wealth, and bringing down the costs of production in the new traded sectors, to spur efficiency and encourage entry.
He canvassed a diversified economy in order to reduce dependency, guarantee economy in order to reduce dependency, guarantee security, and peace of mind to the nation. He reiterated that areas such as VAT, rate, Tourism Development, Property Rights and Piracy, Company Income, and formalizing the informal sector, should be put into consideration.
He continued thus: “Nigeria has some non-revenue areas which include VAT, Custom & Excise, Company Income Tax, amongst others. I believe we can look into the VAT rate which is currently too low, Tourism development, which is lacking but has huge potentials, Property Rights and Piracy which is currently growing rapidly and company income”.
Speaking on the issue of employment and SMEs, he x-rayed that it would be better to get a clearer picture of what we want to do, whether to engage in SMEs to solve employment issues or just to create profit in the sector. To this end, he canvassed that a master industry plan be employed in order to allow other SMEs partake at local level, noting that the bigger a company is, the more responsible it is in paying
tax. He urged government to create and expand an environment for middle class, and long term policies.
He took a cursory look at some countries that went into diversification, and now reaping its fruits. According to him, Malaysia diversified into energy, communication, transport, and free trade ; Indonesia diversified into export orientation, strategies and taxation, inspite of the booming oil sector; Chile, emphasized on counter-fiscal high policy, fiscal discipline and savings; Dubai,
diversified income stream to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), expatriate law, infrastructure, real property, range of services, establishing free zone to further build export capacity; and lastly South Africa diversified into manufacturing and tourism with a
national Industrial Policy Frame work.
According to the Governor of Lagos state, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the duo of Mrs. Folashade Ogunnaike, Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, and Mrs. Oluwatoyin Adebuji-Onikoyi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, stated that the challenge of revamping the economy is not impossible.
His words: “The Challenge of revamping the economy and repositioning it on the path of sustainable growth, is no doubt, daunting but not impossible. It certainly requires us to be more creative, reduce cost of governance, eliminate wastages, to be resolute in the fight against corruption, putting in place appropriate policies and incentives that will create the enabling environment for investment in the critical sectors of the economy. I believe the journey has commenced with the ongoing reforms at both Federal and state levels; What is required at this time is the support and co-operation of everyone including professional
According to the Managing Director, Afrinvest Ltd, Mr. Ike Chioke, designing an Integrate Planning Mechanism will help move this country forward. His words: “I think lack of political will to push it to fiction is a problem. We need infrastructure. We have much in this country that are under-utilized. Over the last decade, we recorded about 5% increase in GDP each year. I think what we need is to come up with an Integrated Planning Mechanism to put together the ideas and political will to achieving much and moving the country forward”.
He further pointed out that if people could be successfully compelled to register for votes during election periods, and register for votes during election periods, and register for BVN as directed by CBN, then improving on taxation by enforcing compliance of tax payment could be
a reality, starting from the top.
On his part, as regards diversification of the Nigerian Economy, The Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC, Mr. Akeem Oyewale, feels Nigeria can key into the entertainment sector, and financial services sector, especially the insurance companies, to make people have confidence in them, thus generating revenue from it for the country.
Having admitted that much reform were done in the Agricultural and ?Power sectors, he urged Nigerian leaders to intensify these legacies by appointing ministers who are professionals and has the ability to build on existing legacies, in order to ensure the retaining and sustainability of rate of deployment. On this, he went further to say that the commercial nature of the power sector services should be respected.
For the Chief Executive Officer, United Capital Asset Management, Mrs Modupe Mujota, Nigeria has to invest in infrastructures, security, get regulations to put down policies, and start doing something pragmatic, rather than keep talking about diversification, so we can speak futuristically. According to her, Nigeria must invest in Nigeria
rather than helping other economies grow through our investments. She further spoke on the entertainment sector, reiterating that Nigeria is the entertainment hub of Africa, and so the issue of pirates should be dealt with. Her words: “To ensure this sector is well structured, government should come down forcefully against pirates, by providing a legal framework backing this up, and the judiciary should support the