The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okey Enelamah, has reiterated government’s commitment to ending the current economic recession. He said this can be possible through strategic policies such as robust partnership between government and the private sector, support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), as well as intervening in high potential sectors including manufacturing and agriculture.
The minister made the statement recently, at the 2016 Annual Investor Conference organised by FBN Capital Limited, the Investment Banking and Asset Management subsidiary of FBN Holdings in Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island Lagos.
Speaking in his presentation titled ‘Matching Opportunities with Patient Capital,’ Dr. Enelamah emphasized the importance of government partnership with the private sector in order to move the nation’s economy forward.
He said despite the recession, Nigerians should see the economy from a positive perspective and deemphasize on the negative side of the recession. He noted that the oil price crash exposed the structural deficiency in Nigeria’s large and thriving economy.
According to him: “Countries in difficulty have used different strategies to strengthen and diversify their economies. That is why Nigeria needs to move away from over dependence on oil. Diversification and growth is key to economic recovery and ensuring a more stable future. Nigeria should have a strong local base of investors because foreigners will always leave leading to dry up of capital.”
Enelamah recommended applying practical solutions such as creating the right environment and policies to harness the productivity of Nigerians in order to overcome the current inflation in Nigeria, as the economy remains large and full of potentials. He added that it is very easy to have a disconnect between the government and the people when there is no trust in government policies.
Speaking further, the minister identified the 5 execution principles of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment which include creating a favourable economic framework, support to Micro, Small Scale and Medium Enterprise (MSME), sector prioritization, partnership and joint ventures and immediate implementation of policies.
In order to realize Nigeria’s diversification and growth plan, it is essential to concentrate on an area where Nigerians are advantaged and give them necessary support, he said.
He further identified areas such as energy, clarification of Nigeria’s foreign exchange policy, agriculture, manufacturing and transportation as critical to economic growth.
In his conclusion, Enelamah declared, “A crisis is too great an opportunity to waste”.
*Photo shows Dr. Enelamah.