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ICAN States “Socio-economic distortions pose problem for Nigeria “

 

The President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mrs. Comfort Eyitayo, has said the distortions in social, political, and economic dynamics are posing a major problem to Nigeria and investors.

She said this during the institute’s 2021 Mid-Year Economic Discourse Webinar themed, ‘X-raying the Nigerian economy: Problems and prospects.’

Eyitayo said, “We are undoubtedly facing profoundly challenging times in the country. The distortions in social, political and economic dynamics call for unconventional models for addressing the seemingly intractable national problems.

“The security challenge is assuming a worrying dimension every day. The volatility in the foreign exchange market is impacting businesses negatively; high inflation rates are making nonsense of investors’ decisions. Low-level of budget implementation and monitoring have resulted in poor living standards, and the infrastructural gap has made meaningful development a mirage.

“Proffering feasible recommendations is the responsibility of all of us here and this summarises the essence of our virtual gathering this morning.”

Buttressing what the president said, ICAN’s 1st Deputy Vice President, Dr Innocent Okwuosa, added that it was necessary to improve socio-economic indices to enhance the possibility of growth and development.

Okwuosa, who is also the institute’s chairman, Technical, Research and Public Policy Committee, said, “While we are fully aware of the modest efforts of leaders across all strata of government in the country, there is undoubtedly the need to significantly improve socio-economic indices and ensure that growth and development are broad-based.

“At this discourse, we would provide deep insights into the various dimensions of welfare and recommend practicable solutions for repositioning the country on the path of sustainable growth and development.

“At the end, I am confident we would have developed feasible recommendations for the different stakeholders in our journey to economic recovery and the building of a resilient economy.”

Giving the keynote speech, Professor of Development Economics and Head, Innovation and Technology Policy Department, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, John Adeoti, said, “We live in a world of change. Economies are changing and at a pace unprecedented. However, the Nigerian economy has remained a laggard in global competition powered by new technologies and strategic business behaviours of economic agents.”

According to him, it is necessary for Nigeria to break away from its overdependence on crude oil if it wants to develop.

Adeoti said, “Breaking away from the shackles of overdependence on primary commodity (crude oil) exports, the Nigerian economy needs to be diversified such that all sectors of the economy contribute substantially to aggregate output and exports.

“This can be done by prioritising the key sectors of the economy (particularly agriculture, manufacturing and services) together with MSMEs in terms of budgetary allocation, policy and institutional frameworks, among others.”

He said diversification would also help facilitate forward and backward linkages among the sectors of the economy and ensure economic competitiveness at the global stage.

Adeoti said, “It will also make the country less vulnerable to external shocks which often arise from changes in the price of crude-oil in the international market.

“Diversification is imperative as it would increase productivity that would help meet domestic demands and increase export products. This will also help address the problem of forex volatility.”

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