The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has listed eight things that would transform the Nigerian economy.
In a document issued by CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and seen by Nairametrics, titled ‘Turning The COVID-19 Tragedy into an Opportunity for a New Nigeria’, he stated that no one knows what the world will look like after the pandemic, which is the reason it is quite important for Nigeria to look inwards for solutions.
According to him, Nigeria cannot afford to continue to rely on the world for food, education and healthcare, as the time has come to fully transform the nation into a modern, sophisticated and inclusive economy that is self-sufficient.
To compete globally across a range of strategic sectors, the CBN Governor urge all stakeholders to support the Federal Government in these eight areas:
As far as he is concerned, building a base of high-quality infrastructure is of the essence of any economy that desires to grow and be independent. According to him, such qualitative infrastructure is not complete without reliable power, as that is the only way to engender industrial activity.
Support for farmers
Emefiele added that if operators in the agriculture sector lack adequate support, the nation would still be far from its inclusive goal. He said, “We need to make adequate support for both smallholder and large scale agriculture production in select staple and cash crops.”
Ecosystem of factories
Importance of an ecosystem of factories and supply chains is also key to the plans of the CBN governor. According to him, it would be strategic for the nation to create an ecosystem of factories, storages and logistics companies that move raw materials to factories and finished goods to markets.
Robust educational system
No doubt, the nation needs new structures that better reflect the diverse learning requirements of Nigerian students. He said, “We need to Use our fiscal priorities to create a robust educational system that enables critical thinking and creativity, which would better prepare our children for the world of tomorrow.”
Developed Healthcare system
Health translates to wealth, so a nation that desires to be wealth must ensure its citizens are healthy. Emefiele too understands this fact, when he said in the document that it is important for Nigeria to develop a healthcare system that is trusted to keep all Nigerians healthy, irrespective of their social classes.
Affordable credit for SMEs
SMEs are the engine of every economy and their access to affordable credit determines their success. “We must facilitate access to cheap and long-term credit for SMEs and large corporates,” he added.
Critics have argued over time that several policies in Nigeria are anti-poor. To address this, Emefiele emphasized on developing and strengthen pro-poor policies that bring financial services and security to the poor and the vulnerable.
To expedite favourable global competition for Nigerian businesses, the CBN governor called for the development of venture capitalists for nurturing new ideas and engendering local businesses.
In all, Nigeria can take some lessons from India, which recently banned exports.
“Why should this be out of our reach? We have the companies too; we have the manpower and some of the best brains in the world from America to Europe and from Asia to Africa are Nigerians; driving global innovations in all fields.
“But now is the time to seize this opportunity and create an environment that empowers our people to thrive within our own shores.”