Nigeria’s economy is in resetting mode – Adedipe

By Kingsley Odii

Renowned economist and financial expert, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, founder and Chief Consultant of B. Adedipe Associates Limited,h as urged Nigerians to be in a reset mode as the nation’s economy, he argued, is apparently resetting.

He made this statement recently at the 15th anniversary lecture and award ceremony of Business Journal in Lagos. The event had the theme: “Nigeria: The Economic Outlook Today And Tomorrow”.

Dr. Adedipe highlighted five major disruptions that are currently impacting the global economy, including the Ukraine-Russian war, the post COVID-19 pandemic, macro-volatility, societal divisiveness, and geopolitics.

Additionally, he pointed out other factors such as climate change, deepening food insecurity and the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel. Despite these global disruptions, Dr. Adedipe noted that Nigeria’s economy has shown growth in both normal and real terms, albeit with interesting patterns.

However, he highlighted major economic drawbacks for the country, including policy reversal and instability, economic behaviour, corruption, shrinking manufacturing, decaying infrastructure, missed opportunities for rebuilding, and a tenuous recovery.

One of the major policy shifts discussed was the implementation of fuel subsidy, which he argued has resulted in significant costs and widespread fraud. He estimated that $10.70 billion is lost annually to fuel subsidies and associated inefficiencies.

He also raised concerns about the unified exchange rates policy, stating that it has led to the shrinking of Nigerian businesses in USD terms and making the country poorer due to its high import dependency.

Furthermore, Dr. Adedipe emphasized the need for fiscal consolidation and highlighted the immediate implications of these policy shifts, such as a massive depreciation of the naira, an uptick in the inflation rate, and increased costs of living and doing business.

In light of the above, he made several recommendations while emphasizing the significance of positive narratives about Nigeria and the importance of buying locally made products to create job opportunities. He also called for a reset in the country and urged individuals and businesses to prepare for government-promised business-friendly policies.

“Our behaviour generally produces the outcome we see. If we want a better Nigeria, it will start from what we say about Nigeria, followed by what we do. If we buy made-in- Nigeria products, we will create jobs here, Dr. Adedipe said.

During the event, other speakers echoed Dr. Adedipe’s sentiments. Mrs. Thaibat Adeniran, Managing Director and CEO, Hilal Takaful Nigeria Limited, stressed the importance of research and youth inclusion for Nigeria’s economic development, while Jide Orimolade, MD of Stanbic IBTC Insurance, highlighted the prospect of the ICT sector.

Also, Bode Oguntoke, Group Head of Audit, FBN Holdings Plc, emphasized the need for Nigeria to embrace digitalization and invest in the financial services industry, highlighting the untapped opportunities in the digital economy.

“We can’t be efficient without going digital. If we want to grow our digital economy, we must focus on the financial service industry. The digital economy is not only the future but the present,” said Bode.

“Fintech has just given us only a tiny fraction of financial digitization. There are vast opportunities left unexplored in the digital economy,” he added.


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