Experts advise Buhari on ways out of recession

Insurance and pension experts have advised President Muhammadu Buhari to reflate the economy by spending money in the right direction and have a co-ordinated strategy.

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They posited that the President should also focus on getting the domestic economy to function and ensure clarity on what is critical, and urged Nigerians to see the recession as a blessing to  move the country away from a mono product economy.

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Former Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Fola Daniel in an interview with Adelove News said the recession was good for the country and urged Nigerians to see it as a blessing, though painful.

“It has made us to move from a mono product economy to a diversified economy. For the first time, we are focusing on agriculture. States that have never produced rice like Plateau are now producing. Many other states from the Southsouth and Southeast are now producing rice. The rice is even of better quality than imported rice. These farmers would be able to make money and migration would be reduced.

“Another area, which we are now focusing on is the mining sector. We have begun to move away from oil. The problem of oil theft is the remote cause of this recession. I believe that we will be proud of this recession in the nearest future and we will never go back to being a mono product economy.

“I do not think we should blame this government because they are bracing up and focusing on new things. They are on the right part,” he said.

Chairman, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), Eguarekhide Longe, who is also the Managing Director of AIICO Pension, said he believed the country was moving in the right direction, and warned that looking at the exchange rate would be looking at a wrong direction.

He noted that recession should not be seen as a poison pill or death sentence, stating that the real test of any environment is the response framework of the government.

He said: “Most importantly, we need a co-ordinated strategy. There has to be clarity about what is critical, focus on getting our domestic economy to function. What the government has done is to rely on external environment to get the exchange rate to manageable position, but I think we need to get people to spend money in the economy.

“Monetary Policy rate (MPR) should be coming down so that we can get the economic activity moving within Nigeria.”

To the Director-General of the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), Sunday Thomas, this is the time when everyone must come together and do “our own bit within the circumstance that we find ourselves”.  He said the recession did not start with the present administration, but past the administrations.

“The situation we find ourselves did not start today. It is something that has been on but was being managed. Now we are at the lowest level. The only way to go now is up.

“President Buhari said we (Nigerians) are closer to getting out of the woods more than before. A lot of initiatives of the government can revive some of the industries. Constructions are going on, payments are going on. Although our income generation is at the lowest level, but it is within the resources that are available.

“I think the government is managing the situation well, but it is also important that we change our attitude. We must have the right attitude to the recession and life generally. When we do this, whatever we have, no matter how small it is, will be sufficient for us to live a life that is good for us,” he said.

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