A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo, has predicted more tough times for the nation’s economy this year.
He, therefore, advised the Federal Government to intensify efforts towards diversifying the economy.
A statement issued on Thursday quoted Lemo as saying this at the 61st Annual National Convention of the Foursquare Gospel Church.
Lemo, according to the statement, said it was saddening that despite the progress made by the country on the political front, available indices “have unveiled the painful lopsidedness of Nigeria’s economic prosperity.”
He was quoted as saying, “Nigeria economic activities are expected to shrink by 1.8 per cent in 2016 in a bid to adjust to foreign currency shortages as a result of lower oil receipts, low power generation and weak investors’ confidence. These will affect the major sectors of the economy.
“We need to key into ways to reform the economy and drive toward diversification.
“The country has been badly hit by unemployment rate at 12.1 per cent with exports dropping by 34.6 per cent, while imports declined by 7.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2016,” Lemo observed.
He said Nigerians needs to demand from the President Muhammadu Buhari administration an urgent diversification of the economy.
Lemo explained, “The present administration advocated for anti-corruption and economic reform during the past election, but it has not succeeded in proving to Nigerians and the world its capacity to bring about economic reformation. Its major headache lies in how to rejig the Nigerian economy and set it back on a growth trajectory.
“We have to insist on economic reform and diversification to revamp the economy, because it can help to deliver inclusive growth in the system.
“The country’s economic is in recession. What we need now is massive fiscal policy to help revive the economy. Government has to pump more money into the economy and not just on capital projects,” Lemo said.