The Nigerian Economic Society (NES) has called on the Federal Government to properly articulate its policies and strategies to enhance economic growth as well as create opportunities for the private sector to access regional and global markets.
The NES made the call yesterday in eleven-point communiqué read by the President, Professor Akpan H. Ekpo to round off the Society’s 49th Annual conference with theme, "Global Competitiveness and the Nigerian economy: The way forward" held in Abuja.
The Society further urged the Federal Government to introduce innovation in the payments system, invest in agricultural sector, create an environment to discourage rent seeking particularly in oil sector, improve infrastructural facilities in the country, massively fund the education sector at all levels and promote Small and Medium Enterprises, among others.
According to Prof. Ekpo, "Government should create an environment to discourage rent seeking, particularly in oil sector. More reforms are necessary in the sector, particularly in the light of recent mind-boggling revelations in the operations of Department of Petroleum Resources and the allocation and payments for oil blocks, from the public hearing on the oil sector by the House of Representatives.
"There is the need for Government to improve infrastructural facilities in the country, particularly in the transport and energy sectors as well as improving human capacity to promote efficiency and competitiveness of the economy.
He stressed that efforts should be made to break the monopoly of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in power transmission by bringing in other companies, by breaking the country in to five or six zones and franchise granted to each of these larger power companies for each zone to enhance rapid growth in the sector.
He canvassed for encouragement of foreign banks to enter the Nigerian banking landscape to encourage inflow of foreign capital and help drive down costs of credit and administration leading to low interest margins.
In respect of education, the NES noted that with the seeming unattractiveness of employment in the sector, the government needed to review wages in the sector to attract capable hands and grantee quality education for the country and enhance its competitiveness.
The Society emphasized the need for cooperation of all stakeholders, private and public operators in the economy in addressing the economic problems of the country particularly in the power sector.