By Lydia Ngwakwe
Dr Uche Olowu, the President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), on Thursday said Nigeria’s economy, in 2020, might record a gradual growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that would not be up to three per cent.
Olowu, said this in Lagos at a forum on 2020 Economic Outlook, organised by the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), in conjunction with Polaris Bank, in Lagos.
He said the Nigeria’s GDP growth rate might increase from the present 2.4 per cent to 2.6 per cent.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the forum also reviewed the economic activities and policies in 2019, as well as its implementation and impact on people and the country in general.
Olowu said that inflationary pressure might also continue as a result of the approval and implementation of the new minimum wage which could lead to increase in consumer spending.
He, therefore, called on the federal government to allow the private sector to participate more in the national development.
According to him, the public sector alone can not provide the growth needed.
Olowu said: ” The only way we can boost the country’s economic growth is to be market oriented; that is, by allowing the private sector to do more.
“There is no way the public sector can sustain the rebuilding of this economy.
“We need a level playing field, a healthy competition that will be fair, transparent and open to rule of law.
“If this is done, we will be able to get it right.”
Olowu said it would be better if the government embarked on domestic borrowing, as it was attractive because of the low interest rate, following increase in Loan to Deposit Ratio (LDR), recently raised to 65 per cent.
According to him, this will help to grow the economy.
The CIBN boss said the basic model to economic growth was having access to credit.
He also said the economy needed sufficient growth drivers that would balance development.
Olowu urged government to confront reality and ensure development was more inclusive and balanced.
The financial expert said that there was the need for government to find a way of diversifying the economy, even though, oil continued to have a major role to play in her economy.
Olowu suggested that subsidy should be given for production and not for consumption.
“What this means is that you incentify the people, create a level playing field that will enable economic actors and inspire confidence,” he said.
The CIBN chairman, therefore, appealed to government to do more on ethical and value reorientation.
He advised government to communicate and feed those that it wanted to woo with the right dosage of messa