Insecurity and poor electricity were mentioned as major challenges.
Some financial experts in Lagos on Tuesday said that the rising GDP growth rate in Nigeria has not impacted positively on the living standard of Nigerians.
They attributed the situation to numerous challenges confronting the nation.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews that the country was witnessing unprecedented security challenges and infrastructure decay. They gave their observations against the backdrop of the rising growth rate of GDP in the last few years.
The Managing Director, Remmy Associates, Remi Ajani, said that insecurity was a major challenge hindering the Federal Government’s efforts at providing better standard of living for the citizens.
Mr. Ajani said that the insecurity in the country had affected the inflow of direct foreign investments into the country.
“No investor will be willing to invest in an environment where his investment is not safe.
“Lack of security constitutes impediment to national development and discourages foreign direct investment into the country,” he said.
Mr. Ajani said that security problem had led to the scarcity of food and triggered inflation in some parts of the country. He advised the Federal Government to invest in the agricultural sector and encourage youth to go into mechanised farming to ensure food sufficiency and exportation.
He also said this step would boost the GDP as well as create more job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.
A Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, Kazeem Bello, said that price of commodities like garri, bread, rice and beans had not gone down.
Mr. Bello said that high inflation rate had not helped matters as it had made the people poorer and the naira weaker.
He said that the industries could not produce and expand their productivity because they must borrow at between 24 and 26 per cent interest rates. He said that the productive sectors of the economy had remained inactive due to high interest rate on loans and consequently failed to provide employment for the citizens.
The lecturer urged the government to make interest rates on loans attractive to boost investment. He also appealed to the Federal Government to galvanize the real sector so that more goods and employment opportunities could be made possible for the people.
A Senior Lecturer in the Department of Financial Studies, Redeemer University, Mowe, Ogun State, Oluyombo Onafowokan, said that there were huge infrastructure deficit that had made the nation unattractive to foreign investors.
Mr. Onafowokan said that the infrastructure deficit had affected foreign direct investment which was a veritable tool for national growth.
“It is the quality of infrastructure that determines the inflow of foreign investors,” he said.
He identified inadequate power supply as one of the problems, stressing that many companies spent huge sums on diesel to generate energy for their operations.
“The high cost of running businesses had made many companies to relocate to neighbouring countries where electricity is stable,” he said.
The General Manager, True Bond Microfinance Ltd., Lagos, Wole Olowu, said that increased earnings from the oil sector had not reflected positively on the people’s standard of living because the sector was not a huge employer of labour.
Mr. Olowu said that expectations were high for the second half of the year and urged government to put machinery in place to deliver good dividends of democracy.
He said that diversification of the economy would impact positively on the well-being of citizens as it would provide employment opportunities for youths.
“The government should adopt aggressive approaches towards addressing the problem in this area so that the economy can witness rapid development in the second half of the year,” he said.
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