Africa’s richest man, and the President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has enumerated several reasons why the Nigerian economy has remained stagnant.
According to Dangote, the availability of consumer credit facility is an important option in fighting corruption in the country.
He said this on Saturday in Lagos at a consultative roundtable titled, “Going for Growth” with some economic stakeholders.
He said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks should develop consumer credit products to encourage low-income earners to engage in loan taking.
He also identified a lack of policy implementation as the biggest challenge in the country.
“How do you have economic growth without power? So, no power, no growth because without power there can’t be growth.
“Egypt increased its electricity by 10 gigawatts, which is equivalent to 10,000 megawatts in 18 months.
“In Nigeria, we have been struggling for 18 years without adding 1,000 megawatts and we have spent about three times above Egypt, why?
“So, I think we all need to be concerned about that.”
Mr Dangote advised that the country needed to promote import substitution for foreign exchange accumulation through proceeds from exports.
He called for a public-private partnership to boost the non-oil sector of the economy and added that Nigerians should invest in the development of the non-oil sector which had been left in the hands of foreigners.
“Government need to encourage non-oil sector growth rather than depending on proceeds from crude oil to pay salaries.
“Proceeds from crude oil sale should be for major investment in the country,” he added.
Mr Dangote said that all stakeholders must come together and support the government in finding a solution to power challenges in the country.
Apart from power, Mr Dangote suggested that government focuses more on three areas which include finance, manufacturing and agriculture.
According to him, Asian Tigers concentrated on these three sectors for them to be where they are.
He further urged the government to focus more on the fiscal policies for the country to move to the next level.
The business mogul said by next year, the country would have exported eight million tonnes of cement to African countries from the present six million tonnes.
Mr Dangote added that Nigeria would also be the biggest exporter of fertilizers in Sub-Sahara Africa.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia, noted that government policies had supported the production of petroleum, cement and fertilizers.
Mr Ovia commended the government on broadband penetration in the country, saying it had boosted banking activities.
He supported Dangote on the need for consumer credit and said banks were doing their best on it.
Mr Ovia, however. noted that the process had been slow because of the challenges associated with people given accurate data for Know-Your Customers (KYC) process.
Also, the former Managing Director of Stanbic IBTC, Peterside Atedo, urged the CBN to continue with the effort taken in reducing inflation rate from 18 per cent to as low as 11.37 per cent as at April 2019.
Mr Peterside said the CBN should use the same pace to bring the country’s inflation rate to a single digit.