Nigeria’s economy needs painful fiscal, monetary surgery – Proshare CEO, Awoyemi

By Nudoiba Ojen

The Chairman and Chief Executive of Proshare, Mr Olufemi Awoyemi, has said that Nigerians’ expectation of a stabilized national economy will not happen without what he called “painful fiscal and monetary surgery”.

Awoyemi, who spoke while answering questions on the popular interview discourse, Boiling Point Arena on Sunday, reeled out a multi-pronged strategy to make the nation’s economy get back on its feet.

The Proshare boss was Guest Speaker in the discourse alongside another discussant, Mr Ugo Onuoha, a Development Expert and former Managing Director/Editor-in-chief of Champion Newspapers.

The monthly interview discourse, the 14th in the series, is the brainchild of Dr Ayo Arowojolu, a media professional with 33 years multi-varied career experience spanning the Media, Banking and Education sectors.

The topic of discourse was: “Dismantling Profligacy in Our Governance System and How to Chart The Path to Nigeria’s Economic Revival.”

Awoyemi said, “Resetting the Nigerian economy will require painful fiscal and monetary surgery. One thing that needs to be done without further delay is the financialization of idle public assets, a reduction in luxury elitist spending and an economic war council like none ever seen in our lifetime”.

He also emphasized the urgent need for Nigeria to secure a $20 billion injection to stabilize its foreign exchange market.

The Proshare boss highlighted the importance of forming an elite consensus to implement measures ensuring sustained development.

Awoyemi pointed out that 40.9 million small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) are grappling with significant challenges, compared to 41.5 million in 2019.

Addressing the foreign exchange shortfall, he expressed concern about its sustainability even if the country manages to raise the required $20 billion to cover the forex market gap.

Awoyemi raised an immediate concern about the country’s need for $20 billion and questioned how it could be maintained once acquired.

Drawing an analogy to an economic system akin to a human blood circulatory system, he stressed the importance of first staunching the wound and then using a drip to replace lost funds, allowing the system to reestablish balance.

For his part, Ugo Onuoha, attributed the current hardships faced by Nigerians to the failure of past leaders in managing windfalls from oil revenue.

Onuoha also criticised the lack of visionary leadership and emphasised the need for diversification and strategic thinking to reduce dependence on crude oil revenue.

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