By OMODELE ADIGUN
To contain the negative impacts of oil price crash on the nation’s economy, the Federal Government has been urged to diversify export to beef up its revenue base.
According to Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje, Senior Consultant/CEO of RTC Advisory Services Limited, who gave this advice Thursday in Lagos at the Annual Economic Review of Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN),these should form the fulcrum of the Federal Government’s responses to the oil price crisis.
He explained that the government had done very well in diversifying the domestic economies into various sectors, but should also diversify exports and its revenue base with a view to moving the nation’s major source of revenue from crude oil, which constitutes about 95 per cent of its foreign earnings.
His words:“First, period of difficulties, as we all found in our private lives, are not gloomy periods. They are periods of opportunities, investments, hard work and in making the necessary investment decisions. In terms of the structure of domestic production, we have done a good job of diversification, but the problem is that ,in terms of the structure of export and government revenue, we have not done enough. So, exports are still exclusively oil of about 90 per cent and government’s revenue comes from that sale of oil. So clearly, two things would happen, we would have to diversify exports.And domestically, government would have to diversify its income which means to increase focus on tax. We have to diversify export; government has to diversify its revenue by focusing on tax revenue. The issue of God and tax will have to be the truth and the reality. Until oil price reaches $100 again, everybody will have to focus on tax.
“From the point of business, there are still sectors that hold promise for significant growth. Look at the e-commerce space, look at Konga and Jumia and the growth that is going on in that sector. Look at real estate, which is now eight per cent of the economy. Look at entertainment, which is the fastest growing sector in the Nigerian economy. Look at some success in manufacturing around food, beverages and tobacco and cement, which has significant growth rate. Look at hospitality, hotels, construction, all of which are growing above 12 per cent. Look at the solid minerals sector which we had ignored because of oil, which holds significant opportunities.”
Source : SunOnline