Experts Laud Okonjo-Iweala's Economic Blueprint


Some economic experts on Thursday in Lagos lauded the economic blueprint released by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, saying its strict implementation would revamp the nation’s economy.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the minister’s decision to slash the nation’s recurrent expenditure was in the right direction.

The experts said that the economy would experience growth if the government placed emphasis on capital expenditure rather than recurrent expenditure.

Dr. Glenn Prince-Abbi, an international economist and capacity building expert, said that economic development would be achieved with strategic capital expenditure focus on vital sectors of the economy.

Prince-Abbi, also Executive Consultant, Africa & Asia Pacific, Espera Global Corporation, said that the government at all levels should tackle the issue of security to woo more investors.

He said that the development of the agriculture sector would reduce unemployment and the overdependence on oil for economic growth.

Also speaking, Mr. Hyacinth Owoh, Managing Director, H.J. Trust and Investment Ltd., said, “recurrent expenditure makes people to be buoyant and not the country.”

“What makes a nation buoyant is capital expenditure,” he said, adding that the government should tackle the nation’s infrastructure challenges.

On the proposed removal of petroleum subsidy, Owoh said that the Federal Government should set a time frame for it and ensure that the refineries were working at full capacity.

He said that the huge domestic debt incurred by the government was due to its excessive spending, adding that the presidential system of government should be reviewed.

Owoh also called for the development of other sectors of the economy to ensure financial independence.

Mr. Carlos Kasim, former Managing Director, Fidelity Stockbrokers Ltd., commended the minister on the review of the recurrent expenditure.

According to him, what we need, as an emerging economy, is the development of infrastructure that would bring the necessary growth in the nation’s economy.

He said that the reduction in wages should start from the political class and not common man.

NAN reports that Okonjo-Iweala had on Wednesday released the Federal Government economic blueprint with emphasis on jobs creation, maintenance of economic stability and reduction in the fiscal deficit to 3 percent by 2012.

Okonjo-Iweala said that the country’s capital expenditure which had been stagnant at 25 percent of total expenditure would be raised by 1.5 percent by 2015.

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