By Francis Akinnodi
Public analysts have charged governments to fix the nation’s infrastructure, address the education sector and reduce the electricity tariff regime to make Nigeria’s products competitive.
In seperate interviews with The Hope, they said the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, has clearly demonstrated how a resolution of the pandemic would shape the direction of what to expect economically in 2021.
Aribigbola, from the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, noted that during the first wave of the COVID-19 and the lockdown periods, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) suffered a 34.1 per cent loss, saying that was why government stopped imposing another lockdown, the dread of the second wave of the virus notwithstanding.
He called on the governments to work together to take stock and take decisive action in specific areas so as to steer the nation’s economy away from recession.
“Government at all levels should direct its attention to fixing the nation’s parlous infrastructure and security among other challenges facing the country.
“Government focus and priority should be on infrastructure development, health and security, because the pandemic exposed not only the dearth of the nation’s infrastructure, but also gaps in our health and security architecture.
“Jobs should be created for the youths; we need competitive infrastructure, steady electricity supply and soft loans to help entrepreneurs to thrive.”
He however advocated for a drastic cut in the cost of governance by instilling and ensuring accountability in governance to rebound and save the nation from a lingering recession.
Also, Mr. Oluwadunsin Titilayo said increasing electricity tariff at this time would have negative effect on production cost, thus putting Nigeria products at a disadvantage in the export and pricing of finished goods.
He expressed fears that the tariff increase and continuous increase in prices of other essential commodities would escalate production cost for manufacturers and erode whatever gains that may have been achieved.
“Government should stand up for its responsibilities; make electricity stable to develop industrialization, create jobs for the youths and soft loans for small business owners to be competitive in the market.
“Also, there is need to take a second look at the educational sector so as to encourage entrepreneurial studies and vocational education to help boost the manufacturing sub-sector,” he said.