Nigerians brainstorm on ways out of recession

Economies stand to gain more by being open, rather than by being isolationist.

Mr.Darcy Zotter representing the US consulate in Lagos, gave the assertion while speaking on the topic ‘the challenges and opportunities of managing a recessionary economy, the American experience.’

Mr Zotter pointed out that the United States has had as many as 47 recessions since 1790 but took extraordinary measures to combat the crisis.

Based on the American experience of dealing with recessionary economies, Zotter says there is no single solution to tackling recession but advises that Foreign Direct Investment is what the country needs to grow its economy and increase its global competitiveness.

He wants Nigeria to use the current recession as an opportunity to adopt and implement economic reforms that will help them out of the crises.

”The United States continues to be the number one destination for foreign direct investment for several reasons, including:  the confidence foreign investors have that they will be treated fairly, that they can repatriate profits, that the rule of law is supreme, and that it is relatively easy to do business. I feel confident saying that the solution is both inside and outside of Nigeria. I am also confident in saying that the policies do make a difference.  They can make things worse, they can make things better,” Mr Zotter explained.

He was speaking during the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Alumni annual lecture in Lagos.

Oil Sector

The Managing Director of Unitech Engineering, Wilson Essien said the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy was the Petroleum sector.

Mr Essien said ”oil is actually a blessing to so many nations including Nigeria. Nigeria loses about one point four million barrels of crude oil per day; multiply that by fifty dollars, so why won’t we be in recession.

Now, because there is recession every body is thinking of agriculture. If the country had sustained agriculture since forty years till today, if the government had done that, palm oil export would have been sustained too.”

An entrepreneur, Henrietta Onwuegbuzie said that those policies that hinder businesses from growing in Nigeria have to be changed, if the country must come out of recession.

She decried the multiplicity of taxes an average entrepreneur faces saying it does not allow businesses record major progress.

Dr. Onwuegbuzie explained that Nigeria has enterprising people who can bring the country out of its current recession if the environment is made conducive.

She urged the government to give more attention to entrepreneurs especially in the area of multiple taxation to enable them contribute to the ailing economy.