Group Managing Director, Parthian Partners, Oluseye Olusoga, as well as other panelists yesterday urged Nigeria to return to the path of productivity in order to save the country from foreign exchange crises.
They spoke during a breakout session with the theme ‘‘Monetary Policy Management In Challenging Times’’ at the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES28) held in Abuja.
Speaking on the reason for Nigeria’s forex challenges, Olusoga said the solution to the problem is not by shifting blame by government agencies. He called for synergy between the nation’s monetary and fiscal policy that will ensure that the nation dwells more on production.
He said pressure on Nigeria’s forex happens when foreign investors come in to buy the nation’s securities and, in the bid to repatriate their money, they demand forex which has been causing distortions on the nation’s forex market. He said, ‘‘When foreign money comes into the country and it’s not increasing production, it’s not different from rent-seeking. The naira having turbulence is a system of many things. The truth is that if we don’t produce, we’ll be poor.
‘‘Once we can produce and have value-added services and exports, then naturally our reserves will increase. As long as we don’t produce, the turbulence will continue.’’
Also, other panelists during the session argued that Nigeria may not be able to tackle her inflation headlong unless she taps the potential inherent in the non-oil sector of the economy.
According to the Executive Secretary/CEO of Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission [NIPC], Mrs. Saratu Umar, there is a need for Nigeria to channel investment to the non-oil sector for massive forex inflows. Umar explained that the Diaspora remittances should also be channeled to the non-oil sector stressing that portfolio investment has never helped the country in any form.
She said: ‘‘Nigeria has abundant cash crops of cocoa, coffee, cotton, groundnut cassava hides, and skins among others that if well tapped and processed are capable to increase the nation’s Foreign Exchange earnings that will impact positively on the country’s foreign reserves and by extension, her gross domestic product (GDP).
Also speaking, former President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria [MAN], Engr. Mansur Ahmed said that the COVID-19 pandemic affected manufacturing all over the world but the intervention of the federal government helped the industry to be resilient. According to him, without the government’s intervention, the sector would have witnessed more troubles.