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FG must know that portfolio investors don’t grow economy, manufacturers do—Folikwe

Fresh tips have been given to the federal government how best to grow the economy.

In an interactive session with Capital Market Correspondents, the Managing Director of Berger Paints Plc., Peter Folikwe advised the government to among other things, “do a rethink of its policies as they affect the manufacturing sector”.

He said “This is the sector that would actually grow the economy if the potentials within are properly harnessed. Government must have clear understanding that it is not the portfolio investors that grow an economy because the government keeps saying; we are trying to encourage investors that grow economies”.

“It is the government’s ability to create enabling environment that can make companies to operate optimally, make profits and ultimately become attractive to both indigenous and foreign investors.

Continuing he gave an example, saying “The Ghanaian government made a deliberate decision to grow its manufacturing sector in regions by deliberately enacting policies that will achieve that purpose. Nigeria needs to take a cue from them”.

“Government can give land free and grant tax holiday among others in order to encourage investors. The second thing, which I think that government should address as a matter of urgency is to introduce a policy that would help create a value chain for crude oil instead of exporting only in its primary state to the developed world who then process and sell back to us as raw materials/petrochemicals.

“The question is what stops Nigeria from getting there? Even the refining of petrol, diesel has been subjugated for importation. It does not make sense. Thank God for the likes of Alhaji Aliko Dangote that is coming up with building a private refinery. These are some of the things that government should encourage rather than just selling our solid minerals, in crude state.

According to him, “Government should create an environment where people can actually be engaged as part of the process of translating raw materials to finished products. Yes, it requires a lot investment and knowledge in science and technology, but I tell you, we have Nigerian locally and in the Diaspora making great strides in science and technology. All they need is the enabling environment.

Folikwe averred that “Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and material resources that can drive the whole processes, given the government’s unfettered support. We need to act fast if Nigeria should keep pace with the global development in economic transformation”.

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