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Group harps on privatisation of assets to support economy

CSCS,-Kyari-Bukar

Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has reiterated the need for the Federal Government to relinquish its interests in national assets.This, NESG believe would enable government to focus primarily on regulations, welfare of citizens and benefit maximally from private sector-led economic development.

It has been argued that if government divested its stakes in these assets, the proceeds can be deployed in the development of other sectors particularly infrastructure, which is seen to be in dire state.

NESG serves as a platform for bringing together private sector leaders and senior public sector officials to discuss and dialogue on the future of the Nigerian economy.

The Chief Executive Officer, NESG, Laoye Jaiyeola, at the weekend, in Lagos, said before the announcement of privatisation, NESG had submitted a blue print on the nation’s economic development.

He also urged the Government to adopt the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) model in all its joint venture arrangement.“Our view is that if only we can run a NLNG model in all of our joint ventures, Nigeria would be better. If we can separate between Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as an operator and NNPC as an asset manager, Nigeria would be better.

“We believe strongly that some of those our assets that we can raise money from should be the first rather than going to borrow,” he said, noting that assets are bought as fall-backs in trying times, as such; government must begin to let the assets work for it.

The Chairman, NESG, Kyari Bukar, who admitted that the government has a plan and pushing for its implementation, however, listed macroeconomic stability, restoration of profit and the ease of doing business as priorities for Nigeria to be better off.

He also identified gaps between capacity and competence of civil servants in achieving the ease of doing business, noting that people should be well informed on how to handle foreign investors coming into Nigeria to do business come to add capacity and value.

“We do believe that having a plan is always better than having no plan. For us, the absolute execution of the plan is paramount,” he said.But Jaiyeola, who spoke on behalf of the group, said NESG wants a market driven economy that is based on floatation of currency, which must be done appropriately.

“The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan is something we have talked about even before now that government needs to have a well-coordinated, articulated strategy that everybody should be taking from, whether fiscal policy or monetary policy.”
“For instance, some of us expected that the budget should have been done and dusted. The time it takes for some policies to roll into action is wasted. So how much of that is done? For us, we have a plan and the plan had significant consultations, economists have different perspectives.

“There were consultations with the private sector, with the states and everybody and we are working towards a goal. Getting more private sectors involved is the key to economic recovery,” he added.



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