An economist, Mr Marcel Okeke, has commended the Federal Government on the Taiwo Oyedele led Committee on fiscal policy and tax reforms, saying it will bring new revenue-generation ideas for Nigeria.
Okeke, said this at a forum organised by the Finance Correspondence Association of Nigeria(FICAN), while discussing the 2023 half year economic outlook on Thursday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum has as its theme; “The Impact of Post-Inauguration Fiscal, Monetary Policy Reforms on Nigeria’s Macroeconomic Environment”.
He emphasised the need to diversify the economy by developing sectors like agriculture and manufacturing, reducing dependence on oil.
Okeke expressed optimism that the committee would work towards harmonising taxes to provide relief for companies and individuals.
He highlighted other factors affecting the Nigerian economy, such as the coup in Niger Republic, implementation of palliatives, insecurity, and oil theft.
Okeke, also a sustainability expert and consultant on business strategy, noted that the depreciation of the Naira had led to significant foreign exchange losses for companies.
“It’s a challenge because those losses are incurred because of the fluctuations the Naira, or the unification of exchange rates.
“And I have not seen anything the government is trying to do to check many of these companies which are conglomerates and multinationals, who play across the globe.
“So, if they have currency loads or facilities, what is happening to the Naira is what is reflecting in the reports that they are coming up with.
“As long as the fate of the Naira is such that it keeps sliding against major currencies of the world, this is the kind of report that they are going to have at the end of the year,” he noted.
The economist expressed concerns about the government’s intervention to prevent further company collapses.
He cited the exit of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as an example, attributing its inability to repatriate revenues and dividends due to foreign exchange shortages.
Okeke said that he hoped that GSK’s departure would not trigger a trend of other companies leaving as well.
He said, “It came to my knowledge that in a couple of five years, they have been unable to repatriate their revenues and dividends and that has been the fate of other major multinationals because of the shortage of foreign exchange in the economy.
“So, when you sum all those things that will show you how soon this economy will be doing well or how far it will not be doing well.
“I pray that the exit of GSK will not turn into bandwagon for others to also leave,” he said.