ICA gives Buhari tips on economy

The Institute of Credit Administration (ICA) has said the availability of credit in monetary and trade terms to fuel export of made-in-Nigeria goods must become the major driver of the economic reform agenda.
According to a statement signed by the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, ICA, Prof. Chris Onalo, on Monday, the institute stated this while making recommendations on the economy to the President-elect, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
It added that priorities should be given to the economic, social and security situation in the country, and that the incoming administration must build a strong economy for the future.
The institute said the government’s approach should be to focus very quickly on structural reforms, fiscal responsibility and investment.
ICA said the government would quickly gain local and global acceptance if it drastically cut the cost of doing business in Nigeria.
It stated that it was possible to fix electricity by all means within six months; prioritise nationwide road construction; set up as a matter of urgency a national agency that would guarantee access to loans by small and medium enterprises, and not to disburse loans to them.
“Such an agency can be called Nigerian Credit Guarantee Corporation. If a NCGC is set up by the Federal Government with strong capital base and very robust operating fund, you can be sure that that corporation will serve as collateral and security, which people who want to borrow money do not have; that is, those within the class of SMEs. This is the practice in other countries,” it stated.
The institute noted that the policy thrust of the government should be economic revival and massive infrastructural build-up to help boost economic growth.
According to it, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is saddled with too many things, adding that there was a need to scale down the functions of the CBN to make it more functional and efficient with its traditional monetary policy moderation mandate.
“Nigeria must engage free market economy in order to achieve overall resilience in economic activity, employment and fiscal performance,” it stated.
According to the institute, oil must be de-emphasised and agriculture must become a major backbone of the nation’s economic growth.
It also urged the Buhari administration to “quickly overhaul the educational system to produce best brains for the labour market and resolve to work largely with the best professionals.”
ICA stated that the state of credit in any economy had important implications for both financial stability and private sector sustainability.

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