Peter Obi lists ways out of recession, says Nigeria must save not share money
By Theresa Igata
Nigeria is in a recession and the naira is taking a hit in the international market. To climb out of the economic mess and sustain a steady economic growth, an expert has given a roadmap on what Nigeria must do to keep her head high.
Speaking at the 1st annual conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP, Themed: Sustaining growth through diversification of the economy, the former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, said that for the country to bounce back to sustaining the growth pattern of the economy, the government has to embark on aggressive savings, diversify the economy towards manufacturing, creating value added exports earning products and Invest in developmental education.
Peter Obi who described himself as a trader is a banker and businessman and was noted for huge savings for his state when he was governor. He spoke off-the-cuff, drawing applause from the audience as he reeled out statistics to support his argument.
According to Peter Obi, the Nigerian economy is weak and volatile because we had not saved for yesterday and are not saving for tomorrow.
“Our economy is fully diversified because the non-oil sector is actually contributing about 80 per cent to our GDP today. But the tragedy of our economy is that 90 per cent of our export revenue is derived from just one sector; oil”.
Need to build our reserves
Citing examples of countries that have surpassed Nigeria in terms of economic gains, he said that as at 1980 Nigeria had more reserves than Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia and China.
“But today, we’re still just at $30bn and these other economies that we had surpassed are way ahead of us now. This is the crisis we find ourselves because research has shown that these countries embarked on aggressive saving; we didn’t save for yesterday and we’re not saving for tomorrow”.
The countries, he added, diversified their economy into a knowledge based export product, they supported manufacturing and invested in infrastructure and education.
“Diversifying our economy through manufacturing and investment in education is what we require today to turn around our economy. And by aggressive saving we’ll be able to get the resources to bring about micro economic stability to the country, defend our currency and be able to attract FDI and portfolio investments and unlock the resources to invest in our deteriorated infrastructure”, he said.
The event was attended by persons drawn from the military, anti-crime agencies, insurance, the Presidency and the media.