As the formal inauguration of the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, takes place today, the Executive Chairperson of Still Earth Holdings, Oyindamola Adeyemi, has tasked the new administration to work rigorously toward accelerating the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.
While welcoming President Tinubu, Vice-President Kashim Shettima and state governors into office, Adeyemi called on them to hit the ground running immediately and translate their electoral economic development proposals into actions.
Nigeria’s GDP slowed down by 3.10% to close at N56.76trn as at Q4 2022, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Adeyemi, in her Q2 2023 advisory on economic development, stated that the development of the key sectors considered as the key drivers of the Nigerian economy will drive the GDP growth which she said would impact positively on the economy and Nigerians living conditions significantly.
The Still Earth Holdings Executive Chairperson advised the president to accord priority to increased investment in human capacity, infrastructure, agriculture, housing, financing, manufacturing, youth/women inclusion, and boost for local capacity in the oil and gas sector.
In her advisory, she pointed out that the growth led by the non-oil sector was 95.66% with agriculture contributing 23.3%, while oil and gas’ total annual contribution was 5.07%. This, she believes, can be improved upon if the Government pays attention to them and thus securing some easy wins to grow the economy in its early stages of operation.
The Still Earth’s boss further said that a more stable foreign exchange ecosystem built towards a single FOREX regime would facilitate industrial, agricultural and infrastructural expansion in key sectors, thereby leading to job creation, poverty reduction and increased productivity in the economy.
“By the formulation and implementation of sound fiscal policy coupled with efficient monetary policy, I am confident that our incoming President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is able to make a significant impact on the nation’s socio-economic ecosystem.
“Also important is aggressive renewal and development of critical infrastructure assets that can stimulate growth in the real sectors of the economy, as well as catalyse optimal delivery of social services for the citizenry,” Adeyemi asserted.
The foremost female entrepreneur, who sits atop diversified multi-sector portfolios spanning several segments including construction, real estate, oil and gas, and finance, further stated that increased budgetary allocations and private sector participation in the provision of basic and critical socio-economic infrastructure could deliver immediate impact on Nigerians.
Adeyemi also stressed the need for a business-friendly environment that could make businesses operate efficiently, profitably and sustainably, even as she said this would in turn impact on more public-private sector collaboration to accelerate economic growth.
The Executive Chairperson of Still Earth Holdings affirmed that boosting local refining of petroleum products would conserve foreign exchange, create more jobs and boost local talent development in the sector in the long run.
Adeyemi added, “Oil and gas income accounts for nearly 90% of Nigeria’s export earnings and it contributes about half of government revenue. Hence, it is stating the obvious that oil and gas remain vital to our short-term economic survival and long-term prosperity for now. It is desirable that the sector must be restructured in a way that it continues to deliver prosperity for the people of Nigeria.”
While noting that more focus on the agriculture sector across value chain would ensure food security, boost raw material production, and foster the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), she advised the incoming administration to tap into opportunities offered by African Continental Trade Agreement (AfCTA) to boost domestic production and manufacturing, thereby curbing importation.
She emphasised transition of the national economy from consumption to production, stating that it was high time the national economy produced most of everyday need of the populace through agriculture and manufacturing,
The entrepreneur advised the new administration on doing everything possible to stem the rising headline inflation and boost the purchasing power parity of the people, streamline the tax system to reduce multiplicity of taxes, grant credits and incentives to businesses including reduction of interest rate on loans.
To flatten the deficit in the housing sector estimated to be about 20 million, she advised the incoming administration to formulate a policy that ensures access to low-interest mortgages for prospective homeowners, as well as guarantee and purchase bank loans in order to deepen the secondary mortgage market.
Increased access to finance through the provision of well-coordinated training, central equipment leasing, a semblance of the commodity board and low/interest-free loans for farmers, Adeyemi further said, would encourage more young people to show interest in agriculture which could in turn be a major FOREX earning for Nigeria.