Mr. Dele Kelvin Oye, National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has urged businesses and investors in the United States to leverage Nigeria’s large, youthful population and its human capital advantage to exploit the opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
This is as renowned economist, Bismark Rewane, says the Nigerian economy can begin to recover and display a stronger local currency as early as the first quarter of 24 if the right steps are taken.
Rewane lists the steps towards recovery as including honest and forthright utterances by government, relieving the economy of strangulation by the elite and allowing the market to determine pricing.
Rewanne spoke on a Channels Television programme, Politics Today.
He said: “You’ve got to believe in the reform economics, if you don’t believe in it then you can’t do anything about it. Secondly, you got to stop state capture, you can’t have oligarchs and barriers to entry. So, this economy must be freed from the oligarch’s interest. An oligarch interest means state capture, shifting state resources to private pockets and leading to inefficiencies.
“You must allow the market to determine pricing. By reducing subsidy on petroleum products, and reducing subsidy in exchange rates, those monies shift to the government. So, how is the government spending the money coming their way?
“In all fairness, the word subsidy means temporary relief, it doesn’t address the fundamental issue, the fundamental issue is that there must be growth and there must be increase in productivity.”
He added that Nigeria needs to spend big on projects that increase productivity, block leakages, encourage people to invest, and ensure that the interest rate is close to the rate of inflation, so that there will be equilibrium.
Meanwhile, Dele Kelvin Oye, National President of NACCIMA, who was a panelist at the USAfrica Business Expo in New York, United States, said Nigeria’s population and its human capital advantage is what sets it apart within the African market, noting that the investors can unlock the unprecedented economic potential that the AfCFTA offers for the economic benefits of both countries.
Oye said the current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was undertaking holistic reforms and policies across various sectors to transform Nigeria as the most conducive country for foreign investments, reiterating the need for increased bilateral trade relations between Nigeria and the United States to facilitate growth and prosperity in both economies.
He said: “Under the rules of origin, you can trade in Africa under the continental free trade. Nigeria also represents a large country with over 240 to 250 million people. What this means is that even if you are selling a piece of paper in Nigeria, you are already a billionaire. You don’t need to go outside Nigeria.
“You also have people with huge talents; you don’t need to bring in your expatriates in any field to come to work in Nigeria. I can assure you that the local talents abound and they are ready to collaborate with you.”
Rallying Nigerians in the Diaspora to bring investments back home, Oye said, “I am urging all of you today to see Africa with a distinction. Some of you complain that there’s no light and water, among others, but I tell you today that those are opportunities. If you provide a solution, you can make money out of it.
“See those problems as opportunities and be a gateway to lead Africa with whatever emerging technologies. In any investment you do, if you invest in the wrong technology, you will lose money. So, part of your first job here is when there’s a new invention, make sure you tell us back home. That way you would have contributed to solving a problem back home.”
For his part, the Executive Director at USAfrica Trade, Gbenga Omotayo, commended the NACCIMA scribe. He said: “This is probably the most important speech anyone has given on the opportunity that abounds in Nigeria and Africa.
“For the first time, people in this part of the world understood the enormity of the opportunity and attractiveness of Nigeria with this new leadership. Dele Oye’s brilliance is at another level. Thank you for being a good ambassador and sharing your wealth of experience.”