The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has proffered initiatives that will keep the country on the path of sustainable economic growth, just as the country celebrated its 61st anniversary last Friday.
The director-general of LCCI, Dr. Chinyere Almona, made this known to the media in its report titled ‘The Nigerian Economy at 61’. According to Almona, over the last 61 years, the Nigerian economy has transformed from an agrarian economy to an economy driven largely by resources from the oil and gas sector, and very recently, emerging knowledge and digital economy.
“The 2021 second-quarter GD P data showed that the non-oil sector accounted for 92.58 per cent of the GDP while the oil sector accounted for 7.42 per cent. The paradox is that the oil sector accounts for over 50 per cent of the nation’s revenue, and over 80 per cent of the foreign exchange earnings.
“This reflects the mounting imbalance in the structure of the economy since independence. It also underscores the growing decline in the non-oil sector productivity over the past 61 years. This remains the major failing of the Nigerian economy at 61. It makes the economy very vulnerable to global shocks and weak in economic inclusion.”
On the way forward, she called for effective implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act, and maintained that this is critical to reforming the oil and gas sector and positioning it to attract more quality foreign direct investments.
She added that there was a need to reduce the emphasis on attracting and retaining portfolio inflows with high-interest rate to the detriment of domestic investment.
“We should prioritise the attraction of foreign direct investments by addressing the key investment environment issues to inspire investors’ confidence.
“Infrastructure financing is a big issue that needs very deep reflection as we mark the 61st independent anniversary. Without a sound infrastructure base, it will be difficult to achieve the various socio-economic objectives of government at all levels.
“We need to develop new strategies to attract private sector capital to the infrastructure space. This should cover the broad spectrum of infrastructure provision – roads, railways, airports, waterways, electricity and transition to renewable energy,” she said.