By Adekola Afolabi
As Nigeria battles to recover from the economic recession, #EndSARS aftermath and the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, experts have advised the government on what to do to quickly overcome the myriad challenges.
Economic experts including a University don, Professor Olurankinse Felix and Elder Fessy Olabode, were of the opinion that the era of plenty has gone hence government should spend wisely and avoid unnecessary spendings to quickly come out of the economic recession and ameliorate the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic facing the country.
The duo explained that the main thing to do to bring the economy back from recession after addressing insecurity in the country is to improve the production capacity and focus on non oil sector, especially agriculture.
They advised the federal government to pay more attention to agriculture which was the mainstay of the economy before and provide soft loans and other tools to farmers to boost food production in the country.
A Professor of Accounting and Budgeting, from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Professor Olurankinse Felix, advised government to cut cost and block loopholes to rejuvenate the ailing economy.
“This is the period when government should sit down properly and plan very well on how to spend and what to spend. They should not involve on extravagant spending.
“Apart from that, they should cut cost. Too much money is being spent on overhead cost, and so government should drastically cut their overhead cost. They should prioritise their spending and focus on what is important as against luxury.
“They should also block loopholes so that much money can come to government coffers without necessarily increasing taxes and levies.
“There is global fall in crude oil price, hence government should diversify and focus on non-oil sector, especially agriculture which was the mainstay of our economy before.
“Government should encourage young people to go into farming. Farm is not really affected by COVID-19. Government should give soft loans and tools to farmers to boost food production”, Professor Felix emphasised.
On his part, a Resource Management Consultant and Economic expert based in Akure, Elder Fessy Olabode, said government must first address the precarious state of insecurity in the country so that farmers and all other persons could go on with their legitimate business to improve the economy.
“It’s when people are safe that they can be productive. Also, the alarming rate of unemployment need to be tackled head long. A lot of youths are unemployed, we must not deceive ourselves.
“So, we must pay a strategic attention to the employment of our youths. We know that government alone cannot create jobs, so they should look into the area of Public-Private Partnership.
“Government must look into the area where we have comparative advantage especially now that the price of crude oil has crashed globally, government should focus on agriculture and make land available across the local government areas.
“Government should ensure that we focus on one product per local government; for instance, if you say Ose Local Government should produce plantain, you can say Owo should produce tomatoes./We must clear large hectares of land and encourage our youths to work there
“Federal government through the CBN should make funds available to the people that really needed it without politicising it. Also, on energy, it is absurd that after 60years of Independence, we don’t have stable electricity”, Elder Olabode added.