Economic and financial experts have said that a policy and cultural change, fiscal discipline, high ethical and professional standard will enhance economic recovery in the country.
They spoke at the 2016 Lagos Bankers’ Nite organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria Lagos State Branch.
The guest speaker at the event, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, recalled that the Nigerian economy had experienced growth that raised the Gross Domestic Product from $4.196bn in 1960 to $481.066bn in 2015, ranking the nation as the 24th largest economy in the world.
The economist explained that urgent steps must be taken to stop the Nigerian economy from going into depression.
Adedipe, whose speech focused on the theme of the event, ‘Repowering Nigerian economy: the strategic imperatives,’ said, “The economy degenerated progressively on the penchant for imports and tepid domestic production activities.
“The naira had remained strong without pedro-dollars, ranging between 61 kobo to 70 kobo to the United States dollar, because of rising industry capacity utilisation, a robust agricultural sector and viable balance of payments.
“The momentary appreciation of the of the naira from 1978 to 1980 was petro-dollar driven and gave way to the seemingly irreversible, gradual but steady decline since 1986. Our orientation towards consumption and the penchant for foreign commodities has to change.”
Citing the examples of Indonesia and Malaysia that have made palm oil a major foreign exchange earner, the guest speaker stressed the need for a clear economic direction for the country.
“We should be specific as to which aspect will take most of our efforts and resources rather than pursuing many sectors simultaneously,” he added.
The President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, Prof. Segun Ajibola, noted that high ethical and professional standard was critical to achieving the desired result of repowering the economy.
He submitted that the economic crisis was caused by a fall in global oil prices coupled with fiscal indiscipline and policy summersaults.
The host and Chairman, CIBN, Lagos State Branch, Mrs. Taiwo Ige, said the annual event had evolved and become a forum where bankers and stakeholders meet to deliberate on contemporary issues affecting the banking sub-sector and the economy as a whole.