The Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia, has lauded the federal government’s economic team for pulling the economy out of economic recession, acknowledging that the country’s economic outlook shows that it is now on a growth trajectory.
Ovia, while appraising the performance of the economy in 2018 in a goodwill message he delivered at the Deloitte in Dialogue Nigeria Economic Outlook 2019 event in Lagos yesterday, noted, “We are no longer in recession and we have been able to manage the rate of inflation. The outlook for the nation shows that we are “now on a growth trajectory”.
The Zenith Bank chairman who focused on two key points in his message – the ease of doing business, and the nation’s inflation rate, commended the present economic team including Ministers of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma; Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed; Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele “on the nation’s remarkable improvement on the ease of doing business index. On the way forward, Ovia charged them with the responsibility of further improving on the nation’s current global ranking on the ease of doing business index to free up some economic bottlenecks still inhibiting business growth.
In his words, “The target for the ease of doing business for Nigeria in 2019 in terms of global ranking, should be single digit.”
In his presentation, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, assured his listeners that “Nigeria was indeed bouncing back,” explaining that the outlook for 2019 was brighter as the federal government was seeking more private sector participation in infrastructure development through Private Public Partnerships.
According to him, “We are exploring diversified means of building and closing the existing infrastructure gap. One of the ways is the involvement of private partners in the new Public Private Partnership policy which seeks to give private operators more opportunities to develop infrastructure. At the moment, we have just sealed an agreement with a private operator to take over the reconstruction of the roads to Apapa Ports. We apologise for the hardship Nigerians have passed through these past three years plying the road and we are committed to ending all these hardships soon,” he added.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, explained that her ministry was working with other stakeholders, including the state governments to remove duplicitous taxes from the system, assuring that complaints by owners of businesses and ordinary Nigerians about double taxation would soon be a thing of the past.