by Chinwendu Obienyi
Nigeria’s surest path to full and effective funding of annual budgets as well as long term strategies can only happen if it turns to her portfolio of national assets to unlock liquidity and focus on increasing its revenue base.
According to economic experts who spoke at the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) Lagos state chapter in Lagos recently, Nigeria’s outing for 2022 can be positive only if it deploys effective policy instruments, adjust and reconnect its economy with unfolding global realities and stop borrowing in the “wrong” way.
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Speaking on the theme; “The Importance of Microfinance in Revamping the Nigerian Economy; Roles, Impacts and Prospects” and the 2022 outlook of the nation’s economy, the Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates, Dr Ayo Teriba, said that opportunities to move the economy forward remains abound but the narratives run contrary to the reality while adding that China, Brazil and India who were once in the poverty bracket has gone on to become super powers in the global economy.
Teriba explained that for Nigeria to get away from the poverty bracket, it needs to strategically reposition itself for global trends, become proactive in seizing opportunities ahead of others, adjust and connect its economy to the unfolding global realities in 2022.
He stated that increasing taxes in a recession will not bring m ore revenue, as revenue aspirations might not be met and added that the wide disparities between outcomes and official pronouncements, undermines fiscal credibility of the government.
“Trying to grow tax revenue in a recession is a dead end, non-tax revenues are more promising and Nigeria’s plethora of assets that offer huge non-tax revenue potentials remain unexploited. Hence, deficits will most certainly be more than budgeted once revenue disappoints. This is why we need to start unlocking liquidity assets and stop borrowing in the “wrong” way. This is the time to offer equity opportunities to the private sector and enable wealth creation
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Seeking increased government revenues from economic transactions at a time when global operating margins are dwindling is a mirage, and that means that funding shortfalls mean budgets get tossed to and fro by economic conditions they are meant to guide”, Teriba explained.
According to him, “if Nigeria cannot coherently deploy effective policy instruments as fundamental as an annual FGN spending plan, then we cannot be expected to hit any of her stability, growth, diversification, poverty reduction, employment policy targets”.
Corroborating him, the Managing Director, Sterling Bank Plc, Abubakar Suleiman, stated that there was definitely no way the nation can build revenue streams from assets that are unknown and urge the FG to create wealth for the masses.
For his part, the Chairman, NAMB and the Managing Director, Accion Microfinance Bank, Taiwo Joda, stated that the nation’s savings culture remains fragile owing to low drive of financial inclusion in some regions.
He, thereafter, called on the FG to strengthen microfinance institutions and see how it can increase by use of digital innovation and partnerships with fintechs.