Guest speaker and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, at the 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of MAN in Abuja has called on the Federal Government to centre its planned diversification of the economy on a tripod stand of agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
In his though provoking presentation, Dangote said for the country to get out of the woods, Nigerians need to tame the massive outflow of foreign exchange by dropping the propensity to import what the nation’s can efficiently produce locally.
He said “Economic diversification through value addition for our domestic and export markets is the only way Nigeria will recover from its present economic predicament and achieve high levels of inclusive growth over a sustained period of time”.
But to drive the diversification very well, government needs to articulate clear sector specific policies along with attractive incentive packages that are commensurate with the risk inherent in each sector.
Earlier in his address, special guest to the occasion and President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari assured members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), that the Federal Government will remove bottlenecks and create a more business-friendly environment to enable the private sector contribute its quota towards the recovery of the economy.
In his welcome address, MAN President, Frank Jacobs, presented some proposals which he said could get Nigeria out of its present difficulties, adding that some other countries had passed through similar situations but overcame them.
According to him, what are essential are key policy actions on the side of government and commitment by the citizens.
“Policy actions would include: strong government commitment to resolving the challenge; strong focus on price stability and economic growth; timely and forceful reactions of both monetary and fiscal policy makers; monetary and fiscal policy authorities working together; reduced interest rates on main refinancing operations; well designed and implemented stimulus packages; reduction of company income tax (CIT) to 15 per cent for manufacturers as a way of attracting further investments.
He advocated for strong Government support for the banking sector to maintain the flow of credit, and low interest rates of not more than 5 per cent for the manufacturing sector.