By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Some financial experts on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to create access to finance for the manufacturing sector to sustain the present Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.
They stated this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while reacting to the third quarter GDP figure released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
They said that there was the need to strengthen the manufacturing sector to move the economy from being oil dependent.
Sheriffdeen Tella, Prof. of Economics, Department of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye said that government should assist the sector by providing cheap credit for operation and expansion.
Tella said that access to cheap funds would not be feasible without downward review of the interest rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“This cannot happen as long as the CBN keeps the interest rate high and allow people to continue to invest in financial instruments for quick returns that cannot grow the economy’’ Tella said.
He stated that the growth in GDP to 1.48 per cent should not be surprising because the price of oil had been rising.
Tella said that the country was not yet moving away from oil dominated economy, noting that economic fundamentals had not changed from pre-depression.
“We are not yet moving away from oil dominated economy. This is not good for the economy as any crisis in the oil sector again will be catastrophic,’’ Tella added.
Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., said that the financial sector should be strengthened and encouraged to lend to the real sector to sustain economic growth and development.
Omordion said that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the apex bank should reduce interest rate and stabilise the foreign exchange rate market by achieving single rate for the nation.
He stated that infrastructure development needs of the country such as power and good roads network, among others should be addressed quickly to boost productivity.
NAN reports that data released by NBS on Nov. 20, showed that the nation’s economy recorded a growth of 1.40 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.
The NBS said that the growth was due to increased oil production during the period.
The country returned to growth in the second quarter of 2017, but the recovery had been fragile due to depressed oil revenues.
The statistics office said oil production on which the OPEC member state’s economy largely relies, stood at 2.03 million barrels per day in the third quarter. (NAN)