Unlocking Nigeria’s Fiscal Potentials via Structural Reforms

Given all the economic challenges in Nigeria, the prospects of the economy are quite enormous. Despite its huge infrastructural deficit, the economy has a record annual growth rate of about 7%. It has outstripped the majority of emerging markets and the developed economies. This is a clear indication that the Nigerian economy will be able to record double digit growth, once these restraining factors are addressed.

The encouraging performance, alongside the size of the Nigerian market, makes the country an investment destination to be reckoned with. Nevertheless, the country’s full economic potentials are yet to be unlocked. Of critical importance is the country’s capacity to convert the soaring growth rates into sustainable economic development. This calls for the implementation of core structural reforms, those that involve harmonised interventions in the real sector.

The latest financial sector reforms demonstrate how a harmonised policy response of the government produced incentives and opportunities for private sector led restructuring of Nigeria’s banking and financial services. This resulted in a more robust and flexible system that has weathered the turbulence of the recent domestic financial downturn.

The ongoing reform in the power sector is a welcomed development. If the government conscientiously implement a new fiscal framework for the upstream oil and gas sector, under the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), as well as liberalise the downstream and transform the agriculture value chain, the economy will witness an estimated 20% exponential growth rate in the nearest future.

In line with the key Vision 20:2020 objective of achieving a structural transformation from a mono-product economy to a diversified, industrialised economy, deliberate policy measures should be aimed at creating the foundation for the private sector to play a leading role in the actualisation of Nigeria’s industrialisation ambition. These measures will include accelerating the pace of privatisation of public enterprises and executing specific actions, aimed at improving the ways of doing business in the country.