Nigeria will enjoy higher accretion to its foreign reserves and improved investors’confidence., if plans to diversify the economy away from crude oil earnings is well implemented.
President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers’ of Nigeria (CIBN) Dr. Uche Olowu speaking at the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), 2020 Economic Outlook in Lagos, maintained that as soon as the economy is diversified, foreign investors’ confidence in the economy will receive a boost ,
He said opportunities in the agricultural sector should be explored to improve the country’s capacity to export agricultural products and earn foreign exchange.
According to him, the country has so much to gain by investing in agriculture as a means of boosting foreign reserves, but noted that this is dependent on the ease of access to credit which is also a key factor that will lead to economic growth and development.
Olowu who also spoke to the Federal Government’s policies in 2019, insisted that bankers are now deploying manpower to get highest returns.
He said the banking industry is now open to creative minds that are ready to explore untapped areas in the economy.
According to him, the issue of Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) has been taken care of at the top level in the industry as there is no hiding place for serial loan defaulters.
Olowu further stated that Nigeria’s economy would experience a gradual growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as impact of agric investments begin to materialize.
He therefore, called on the Federal Government to allow the Private Sector rebuild the country’s economy for optimum growth.
” The only way government can boost the country’s economic growth is to be market oriented, that is, by allowing the private sector to do more. There is no way the public sector can sustain the rebuilding of this economy. We need a level playing field, a healthy competition that will be fair, transparent and open to rule of law,” he said.