Chief Economist at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Nigeria, Andrew Nevin, has said for the country to solve her enormous challenges, there is a need for Federal Government to be relevant to her citizens.
Nevin said Nigerians are very intelligent, had coined the term, self-organised – supplying power, education, healthcare, security, and infrastructure by themselves.
He spoke at the 14th Afrinvest’s Nigerian banking sector report, themed, “Beyond the Precipice…Pulling back from the Brink,” in Lagos, while providing solutions to the challenges bedevilling the country.
Nevin also stressed the need for government to decentralise its powers to enable states grow independently.
Partner, KPMG, Tola Adeyemi, said Nigerians need to stop being cynical about current challenges, saying there is a need to redirect cynicism into action, adding that the oil sector needs to be improved while urging government to incorporate Joint Ventures (JV) to raise funds.
Adeyemi also challenged the government on the need to do something radical about agriculture, as there is still hunger in Nigeria despite her huge population.
Group Managing Director, Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited, Ike Chioke, said government should leverage annual capital expenditure allocation in partnership with private sector to target critical infrastructure development on a long-term basis.
Chioke said government needs to prioritise and build rail to connect major commercial hubs, engage in rapid adoption of technology to fast-track human capital development, and drive broadband penetration by easing the right of way challenges.
He said government should cut the cost of governance, remove minerals from the exclusive list, and make health insurance mandatory, while decentralising policing and security apparatus.
Lagos State Commissioner of Finance, Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo, while advocating the need for every state to develop its potential, said governors should be the Chief Executive Officers of their states.
Onaolapo said states should look inward to seek revenue from formal and informal sectors, to stimulate growth and generate passive income.
He stressed the need for states to shun corruption and invest more in education, noting that in the 2020 budget presented by Lagos government, education is estimated at 60 per cent share compared to the current year.
Wife of Edo State Governor; Betsy Obaseki, said the solution to Nigeria’s problem is simple – to tackle the challenges, she urged technocrats, members of the organised private sector, and every educated Nigerian to take interest in politics.
According to her, until the civilised and technocrats contribute to policy-making, Nigeria will remain where it is.
Executive Chairman and Founder, Phillips Consulting Limited, Foluso Phillips, said Nigeria needs to go back to develop and fix the education sector, and develop human capital development.