The Managing Director, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Dr. Demola Sogunle, has charged states to intensify their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) drives as a remedial step towards ensuring adequate funding of their programmes and activities in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.
The finance expert gave the advice in his contributions at ‘The CIBN Advocacy Dialogue, Series 1.0’ made the call at an advocacy dialogue Webinar, organised by the Centre for Financial Studies (CFS) of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos with the theme ‘COVID-19: “Tough Choices for Banking and other Businesses”.
Sogunle, who shared his views along with those of other experts on the choices open to the banking and other business sectors in this economically trying time in the country, specifically pointed out that IGR optimization remained the best fiscal options for the sub-national governments in the months ahead.
He advocated: “At the sub-national level, the state governments need to look inwards more to significantly increase their Internally Generated Revenues. Of course, there is a need to consistently improve on the level of infrastructure in the country to make these things happen.”
Noting that “Nigeria has been hit by twin shocks – the COVID-19 pandemic and declining oil prices”, the banker explained that in order for the country to mitigate the negative impact of the twin shocks “we need to as a country, maintain delicate balance between saving the lives of our people and growing the economy.
“These twin shocks are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and both can be pursued simultaneously”, Sogunle added.
This is even as he stressed the need for government to diversify the economy and focus more on agriculture, manufacturing, and SMEs for the purposes of achieving sustainable growth in the years ahead.
Earlier in his paper, the Past President of the bankers’ professional body and keynote speaker, Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola, noted that the nation’s economic outlook remained gloomy in view of the impact of the crashing global oil prices and the coronavirus on the economy
While forecasting higher inflation rate in the months ahead, Jaiyeola called on the federal government to review its economic policy and ensure a quick diversification of the economy.
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