Nigeria’s leading Facilitator of Ease of Doing Business, Lai Omtola has stated that the only way for the country’s economy to thrive is to be private sector-driven.
Omotola stated this at the End of the year media parley organised by entrepreneurtv.ng, an online specialised Business and Economy news platform.
Looking at three indices guiding the performance of the economy; among which is the exchange rate, the Group Managing Director of Masters Reality, lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria for keeping the rate at N365 for six consecutive months and allowing the private sector to easily access it.
He however noted that is is till a high figure compared to when it was N195.
“For us in private sector what we look at is 365. But again, it is commendable because in the beginning of the year, this same exchange rate went as high as N500 and it has been sustained on N365 for the past six months. The reason why I said it is commendable is because it allows the private sector to plan when the exchange rate is fixed and stabilised.
“Although, even at this figure it’s a little bit high, we can only pray that it comes down to what it was at N195. But the good thing about this, is that you can plan on the long term basis with a fixed exchange rate.
Omotola who recently bagged a Fellowship of the globally respected Institute of Management Consultants, laments the high interest rate charged by commercial banks in the country which is between 35 and 37 per cent.
“In Year 2017, the banks were the most challenged institutions as liquidity issues remain very low as seen in their balance sheets.”
The third indices, which is the inflation rate which was at 15.97% and later reduced to 15.91% after the third quarter, was in his estimation still very high.
“With the promise of the Government as at this point in time, we should be looking at single digit inflation rate. When you look at all these combined together, you will realised that the environment is indeed challenging especially to a lot of businesses that are import-oriented.
“But again, in every challenge, there is always a glimmer of opportunity. I am of the strong opinion that if this economy must do well, it must do sol when it becomes a private sector-led economy,” he said.