An Economist, Dr Biodun Adedipe, has urged the incoming administration of President-elect, Bola Tinubu to focus more on agricultural development.
Adedipe, a Chief Consultant Economist, said agriculture is the largest contributor to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product.
He made the call at a virtual conference on National Policy Dialogue organised by CMC Connect LLP, on Friday.
The theme of the conference is: “Setting a Fiscal Policy Agenda For the Bola Tinubu Administration”.
Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, the Lead Partner of CMC Connect, moderated the virtual dialogue.
Adedipe said the incoming administration needed to provide incentives for infrastructure development to encourage all-year farming.
“The new administration should encourage large-scale farming and linkage with smallholder farmers.
“Agricultural research and development is essential to boost the economy,” he said.
The economist listed 12 pillars of productivity, which he advised the President-elect to adopt in agriculture production and value-chain.
These include market size, labour market, business dynamism and innovation capability, health and product market.
Others are ICT adoption, institution, skills, infrastructure, macro-economic stability and financial system.
“To improve the ranking and performance of the nation’s economy, the incoming administration should look into payment of taxes, training across borders, enforcing contracts and protecting minority interests.
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“We need to promote export to African countries and strengthen domestic manufacturing, which interrogates the nexus between import and export.”
The chief consultant urged them to look at imported products that could be produced locally, stressing that this would be beneficial for the economy.
Adedipe decried the state of the country’s economy occasioned by poor policy coordination, misplaced priorities, fiscal inefficiency and revenue leakages.
All these, he said, discourage productivity.
He said with the inflation rate persistently trending upward, the Central Bank of Nigeria had to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).
“The economy is desperate for growth and the big number in Nigeria is food inflation, which was at 24.35 per cent in March 2023.
“Food security should, therefore, come big in Nigeria’s economic development agenda,” he said.
On education, Adedipe said the incoming government should revamp the school curriculum to support future works in the 21st century.
He also advised the new government to embark on massive capacity building for teachers.
“It is necessary to increase funding to improve infrastructure in the educational sector.
Similarly, on universal health care and enhancing life expectancy, he urged the government to redesign the integrated healthcare model.
The new government, he pointed out, should address the brain drain in the sector.
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