By Olaleke ASHAFA
A financial expert, Mr Tony Edeh, on Friday urged policy makers to focus on creating better economic policies that would aggressively drive the growth of the economy.
TBI Africa said Edeh, the Managing Director of Norrenberger Financial Group, said this while reacting to the 2.38 per cent growth recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
He explained that if the country successfully conducted the 2019 general elections, there was need for policy makers to come up with robust policies to sustain the growth of the economy.
He said effective policies geared towards continuous diversification of the economy, domestication of manufacturing materials, formalisation of the non-oil sector and a stronger concentration on tax legislation would help to strengthen the economy.
According to him, the 2.38 per cent growth of the last quarter of 2018 indicates a significant growth in the economy and the strongest recorded in more than four years.
“Although it is less than what both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) projected.
“This is a much better performance compared to the year before. However, this growth could be attributed to the heavy spending during the festive period and preparations for the 2019 elections.
“Nigeria is the biggest oil producer in Africa and we have depended on the oil sector for a long time.
“This 2.70 per cent growth in the non-oil sector indicates that the plan to diversify the economy and reduce its dependence on oil is starting to pick up as we note significant growth especially in Agriculture and Construction,” he explained.
The financial expert said the negative growth of -1.62 per cent, showed that when compared to previous year, the country produced and earned less than it did in 2018.
“This also can majorly be attributed to the continuous decline in the price of crude oil. This downward pressure on oil is attributable to an increase in global oil inventory implying excess supply over demand.
“In addition, the Trump’s administration’s push for lower oil prices may also dampen the excitement of the global oil market.
This price softening could seriously affect the high growth we just recently experienced over the next quarters. However, with current geo-political issues arising around Venezuela and Iran, prices may slightly stabilise in the future