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Nigeria: Post COVID-19 – Govt Urged to Retool Manufacturing Sector

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Economic experts have called on the federal government to encourage the use of the country’s scarce resources and promote retooling of the manufacturing sector to revive the country back on track to tackle post COVID-19 challenges.

The experts disclosed this at the weekend during a virtual webinar organised by the Nigerian Economic Society with the topic Getting the Economy Back on Track-Challenges and Policy Options.

Professor of Energy Economics and former Director, Center for Petroleum Energy, Economics and Law (CPEEL), University of Ibadan, Prof. Akin Iwayemi said the country’s economic growth had been unstable with very slow debt recovery plan, adding that the effect of the pandemic further worsened the situation.

He said the challenges of the country’s economic situation were too numerous including the weak production sector which is characterized by low productivity, and the manufacturing sector which has been comatose for more than two decades.

He also pointed out the crises of foreign exchange, infrastructural and power deficit, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the depth of the crisis in the health sector in the country.

He called on government to make efficient choices and focus on comparative and competitive advantages for the country to thrive in both regional and international markets.

He called for increased investments in research and development, and greater participation among all stakeholders.

Also speaking, the Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Muda Yusuf said the COVID-19 pandemic had provided an opportunity for government to ensure policy making was based on evidence based and not by feelings of emotions.

He called for the scaling up of agricultural sector to be dominated by small scale farmers and expand their market scope.

He also urged government to minimize the cost of tax collection.

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