The critical role of private sector in the development of Nigeria’s economy took the centre stage on Wednesday at the second edition of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) roundtable discussions in Lagos.
Some Chief Executive Officers present at the event jointly organized by NSE and Bloomberg urged the Federal Government to tackle infrastructural challenges and diversify the economy.
Addressing participants, the Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Oscar Onyema said: “The consensus from our deliberations here will be articulated in relevant white papers that will be submitted to Nigerian policy makers”.
Speaking at the event, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya said: “Nigeria’s GDP has continued to decline because of the over dependence on oil, following the global decline in price . For the country to come out of the woods there is need to diversify the economy. Government has to figure out short term solutions to address the funding needs, either to borrow, sell assets or swap. The telecom sector is a vibrant sector that need not to be ignored”.
He added: “There is need to digitalise the economy as broad band challenges need to be addressed. Internet and Broadband have been globally acknowledged as the foundation for transformation to a knowledge-based economy. It is also widely acknowledged that broadband infrastructure is an enabler for economic and social growth in the digital economy.
“Broadband has the potential of enabling entire new industries and introducing significant efficiencies into education delivery, health care provision, energy, ensuring public safety, government/citizen interaction and the overall organization and dissemination of knowledge”.
The Chief Executive Officer of Nestle Nigeria Plc, Mr. Dharnesh Gordhon said: “The forex scarcity and the high cost of production are affecting our revenue and production. We don’t have problem regarding demand. Consumers need value of whatever goods they are consuming. So, it is the value of products that the consumers are expecting to be high. In addition, power is critical. So, government must do everything within its reach to improve the power situation in the country. There have been a lot of policies in power and no improvement. For the past seven months, we have not seen gas supply and to that extent, we had to switch to diesel which is quite expensive when compared to gas.”
In his submission, Mr. Mark Bohlund, Africa and Middle East Senior Economist Bloomberg Intelligent and Dr. Ogho Okiti, Economist and Policy Analyst explained that beyond devaluation of the naira, foreign investors need to be assured of consistent government policies, security, adequate infrastructure like power, Transport among others.