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FSDH calls for urgent policy action to save economy - THE GUARDIAN

MARCH 14, 2019

By Chijioke Nelson

With the nation’s economy assailed by snail-paced growth, leaving the majority in extreme poverty, the Federal Government has been called upon to take advantage of the new mandate to bolster activities in the system urgently.

A research by FSDH Merchant Bank Limited noted with concern the urgency for expansion of the economy faster than it is currently, to overcome the lingering economic pressures.

The pressure points range from weak disposable income, high unemployment rate, weak infrastructure development, economic depression in the real estate sector, fragile foreign exchange market to the ongoing revenue crisis in the country.

The Head of Research, FSDH Merchant Bank, Ayodele Akinwunmi, while presenting the lender’s Economic and Financial Market Outlook for March, titled: “Economic Realities: Policy Options”, said the removal of all administrative delays in obtaining licences and approvals, including titles to landed properties for building and agricultural purposes must take priority.

“Government should support the provision of long-term mortgage loans at concessionary terms for its workers to activate the economic activities in the real estate sector in Nigeria.”

“Investment in data generation in the solid mineral sector. Government can sell the data to potential investors interested in the sector. This will reduce the risk inherent in this untapped sector of the Nigerian economy.“Urgent restructuring, deliberate and consistent investments in the nation’s educational system to enable it provide relevant trainings that are needed in the modern digital age is sorely needed, as observed critical skill gap, particularly in the public schools at all levels is growth retarding.

“There is the need for establishment of well-funded technical training centres in all local government areas and investment in infrastructure in the country in conjunction with private sector operators, to reduce the risks involved in agriculture and agro-allied industries,” he said.

He also called for investments in affordable public healthcare system to increase productivity of workers, reduce brain-drain and foreign medical tourism with its associated drain on foreign exchange earnings.Besides, he also called for the removal of the “subsidy” on the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), to free up more resources to critical sectors of the Nigerian economy and to drive competition among the operators and attract investment in the sector.

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