Rewane supports fuel subsidy removal, currency devaluation
RENOWNED economist and chief executive officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, has supported calls for the removal of controversial fuel subsidy in Nigeria, describing it as a criminal enterprise that has crippled the nation’s economy.
Delivering the post yearly general meeting of International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN) with the topic: “ Nigeria Economic and Business outlook in Lagos, said a lot of money has been wasted in the enterprise without proportional effect on majority of Nigerians.
According to him, the ‘removal of the subsidy is key towards the nation’s economic recovery and greatness’.
In calling for the subsidy removal, he noted that organized labour should be consulted with a view to providing palliatives to its immediate impact on workers.
The renowned banker, who regretted lack of accurate population figure in the nation, despite the importance of population to economic planning also called for revaluation of Naira on the basis of productivity, saying the current efforts at trying to stabilise the Naira may worsen the situation since the productivity of the country determines the value of its currency.
He noted that the nation’s currency is not properly valued in accordance with its prevailing productivity value, since Nigeria’s productivity value is now between 2.5 and 3 dollars per hour far, which is below productivity values of most developing countries of the world.
Rewane further called for tackling of corruption, diversification of the nation’s economy, plugging leakages in government, adoption of an efficient exchange rate mechanism, rehabilitation of pipelines and depots, as well as simple tax system in order to put the nation’s economy on the path of recovery.
Austerity, he said is not the solution to the nation’s economic challenges but efficient saving.
Also the chairman of ICCN, Mr. Babatunde Savage want the government of President Mohammadu Buhari to put more emphasis on the quality of productivity in the country, since it has great impact on the value of the currency.
According to him despite the economic and political uncertainties in the country, Nigeria’s outlook is brightened by the large and varied opportunities in different sectors of the economy.
“Over the past decade, Nigeria had unleashed huge growth potentials through the liberalization of its telecommunications sector, which saw the sector grow from less than half a million telephone lines in 2001 to over 130 million in 2014.
“It is expected that similar liberalization of the generation and distribution segments of the electric power sector will also trigger a new wave of growth in the near future, especially in the transmission segment.