The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), has tasked the incoming administration to “prioritise macroeconomic stability with emphasis on moderating inflationary pressures, stabilising the exchange rate and boosting economic growth” as it keeps eyes on the ball of making Nigeria great.
Chief Executive Officer, CEO,of the Center, Dr. Muda Yusuf, in an agenda setting advisory, specifically called for urgent tax system reform to ensure efficiency in tax administration, reduce tax evasion and tax avoidance and eliminate multiple taxations; eliminate fuel subsidy to save an estimated N7 trillion annually.
Yusuf, also hopes that the reform would eliminate foreign exchange subsidy to unlock a minimum of N3 trillion revenue annually from the sale of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) forex to the official foreign exchange window and unlock more income from revenue generating agencies through enhanced efficiency of their operations,” it stated.
The CPPE, further demanded an urgent initiation of budget reforms to ensure fiscal discipline, curb budget padding, stop duplication of projects and review the service-wide votes to ensure transparency.
The economic think tank is looking at a broad foreign exchange market reform that would reduce the huge arbitrage in the market and improve transparency in the allocation process and ultimately unlock inflows of capital into the economy.
The CBN is at the centre of reform recommendations made by local and international bodies in recent years. With FX market arbitrage reaching 100 per cent last year, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that a reform that would usher in the market reflective exchange rate would be required to achieve stability in the market.
Yusuf, called on the next administration to expedite action by setting up a transition Committee on the economy as a necessary action plan to breathe life into the ailing economy.
The Center, also urged the administration to establish a quality economic governance framework “consistent with tested economic principles and empirical evidence” as a matter of priority. This, it advised, should be anchored on the socio-economic peculiarities of the country.
“This is critical from the onset of the administration for signaling and investors’ confidence. A good economic governance framework would entail the following: setting up a transition committee on the economy to come up with propositions of what needs to be done differently and ensure the delivery of quick wins in the first month of the administration,” Yusuf, stated.
Within the economic governance framework, it recommends, there is a need for a technically sound economic team to give guidance and direction on general economic policy direction, policy conceptualisation and urgent reforms to pull the economy out of the woods.
The CPPE envisions an economy where there is a level playing field for all players with a transparent economic policy formulation process, a competitive economic environment with minimum monopoly dominance and expanding the role of markets for value delivery while boosting private enterprise.
“State institutions do not have the capacity to manage enterprises,” it argued while acknowledging the place of a robust monitoring and evaluation framework to regularly review the effectiveness and impact of economic policies and regulatory practices. Tested technocrats, it pointed out, should head relevant regulatory institutions that are key to building a virile economy.
The administration, to be headed by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will inherit an extremely fragile economy kneecapped by high debt, unsustainable debt servicing cost, weak naira, low purchasing power, an ultra-high unemployment rate, among others.
With the Federal Government liabilities alone tending towards N100 trillion, the incoming administration would face a Herculean task kick-starting the process of reviving the economy.
The new administration the Center, said would need to “demonstrate unmistakable commitment to the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act” to attract more investment into the oil and gas sector and remove petrol subsidy “with minimum shocks to the economy and the citizens”.
“A substantive minister of Petroleum Resources should be appointed to promote professionalism and transparency in the sector.
The practice of the President assuming the role of Minister of Petroleum should be discontinued,” it added.