Expert urges incoming administration to prioritise agricultural transformation

An Economist, Dr Biodun Adedipe, has urged the incoming administration to pay more attention to agriculture being the largest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Adedipe, who is a Chief Consultant at B. Adedipe Associates Ltd, made the call on Friday at a virtual conference organised by CMC Connect LLP.

The National Policy Dialogue with the theme: “Setting a Fiscal Policy Agenda For the Bola Tinubu Administration”, was moderated by Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, the Lead Partner at CMC Connect.

He said the incoming administration needed to provide incentives for infrastructure development to encourage all year farming.

According to him, the new administration should encourage large scale farming and linkage with smallholder farmers, adding that agricultural research and development was essential to boost the economy.

Adedipe also advised the incoming president not to come up with a big framework but accommodate the 12 pillars of productivity which included market size, labour market, business dynamism and innovation capability.

Others are: health, product market, ICT adoption, institution, skills, infrastructure, macro economic stability and financial system.

“In improving the ranking and performance of the economy, the incoming administration should also look into payment of taxes, training across borders, enforcing contracts, and protecting minority interests among others.

“We need to aggressively promote export to African countries and also strengthen domestic manufacturing which interrogates the nexus between import and export,” he said.

The chief consultant urged them to look at imported products that could be produced locally, stressing that this would be beneficial for the economy.

Adedipe, however, decried the state of the country’s economy occasioned by poor policy coordination, misplaced priorities, fiscal inefficiency and revenue leakages which discourages productivity.

He said with the inflation rate persistently trending upwards, the Central Bank of Nigeria had to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).

“Yet the economy was desperate for growth and the big number in Nigeria is food inflation which was at 24.35 per cent in March 2023 rising from 24.13 per cent in December.

“Food security should, therefore, come big in Nigeria’s economic development agenda,” he said.

On education, Adedipe said the incoming government should revamp the school curriculum to support future works in the 21st century and embark on massive capacity building of teachers.

He said that it was necessary to increase funding to improve infrastructure in the educational sector.

Similarly, on universal health care and enhancing life expectancy, he urged the government to redesign the integrated healthcare model and address brain drain in the sector.

“In the financial system, government needs to totally revamp the financial ecosystem, reset system regulation and supervision and accelerate capital market development.

“On Information Communication and Technology (ICT), they should offer incentives for ICT investors and align policies on ICT with the needs of the 21st century digital economy,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria