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Stimulate economy through capital projects, Experts tell FG

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Written by Maritime First

…As ABCON chief commends FG on Naira stability***

Some operators in the building construction sector have called on the Federal Government to stimulate the economy by embarking on more capital projects.

They indicated this on Tuesday, in Lagos stressing that the real dividends of democracy had not been felt in the industry, as a result of the slow pace of construction activities across the country.

The experts also advised the government at all levels to focus more on development of capital projects as a way of stimulating the economy, pointing out that it is largely through capital project developments that money can start coming into the country, which will revive the economy from the effects of recession.

Canvassing this position, a former President, Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Chucks Omeife stressed the need for the Federal Government to re-examine the way multinational construction companies are currently being managed.

Omeife said that government should come up with policy that would influence the ownership structure of multinational construction firms in Nigeria.

According to him, the few construction activities in the country are being handled by multinational construction companies.

“Nigeria should benefit from the experience of other countries.

“For instance, the South Korean Government enacted a law known as Engineering Services Law (ESPL), which compels registered engineering firms in South Korea to have at least one South Korean Professional engineer.

“Such law can be enacted in Nigeria. And until the government starts empowering the local contractors and professionals by awarding contracts to them, the Nigeria construction sector may not record significant growth,” Omeife said.

Prof. Timothy Nubi of University of Lagos said that construction sector had the potential to revive and grow the Nigerian economy.

Nubi, Dean, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, UNILAG, said that construction activities would provide more job opportunities to large number of people at a time, stressing that efforts should be made toward embarking on more housing and infrastructure projects.

“Though, housing and infrastructure projects are capital-intensive, the government must not wait until the economy becomes very financially buoyant to embark on them.

“Let the government take the bull by the horns by investing in infrastructure/housing projects because when construction works are going on, a lot of people will be gainfully engaged,” he said.

Mr Olayemi Shonubi, Vice President, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), suggested that the money recovered from corruption should be ploughed to the economy to stimulate economic activities.

Shonubi said that the government needed to continually invest in the economy, particularly in capital projects.

Meanwhile, the President, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe on Tuesday commended the Federal Government on its ongoing effort to stabilize the Naira and restore sanity to the foreign exchange market.

The Naira this week exchanged for N367 to a Dollar.

Gwadabe said he was particularly impressed by Government doggedness which had seen a stable Naira regime, in the past three years of the present administration, culminating in sometimes, frantic efforts at battling the various challenges, towards rescuing the naira from speculators.

According to him, the post-recession economy witnessed tremendous growth in Foreign Direct Inflows (FDIs), renewed investor’s confidence and reduction in the nation’s imports.

The ABCON chief said that the government should consolidate on its diversification agenda to move the economy over dependence on oil.

He explained that the growth and development of the solid mineral’s sector would bring value to Nigerian professionals.

The financial expert said that the outlook of the nation’s currency remained bright as the country continues to enjoy recognition from the international community and developmental partners.

He however maintained that a synergy between the fiscal and monetary policy makers was still needed to grow the economy.

 

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Maritime First