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Nigeria needs stable naira, credible fiscal strategy for economic growth- Wally Adeyemo



Wally Adeyemo

The United States Deputy Treasury Secretary, Mr. Wally Adeyemo has said Nigeria needs a stable naira and implement a credible fiscal strategy to creature opportunities for millions of its people.

Mr Adeyemo stated this during his address at the Lagos Business School as part of his visit to Nigeria to strengthen diplomatic relations between the two countries.

While highlighting the steps Nigeria needs to take to create economic opportunities he said,

  • “Nigeria needs a stable naira. You step into a small business or market and hear shop owners and customers bemoaning the lack of a stable currency. Unifying Nigeria’s foreign exchange rate will create the kind of macroeconomic stability that is essential to foreign attracting investment.”
  • He further commended the current administration’s efforts in taking the difficult reforms such as fuel subsidy removal and unification of exchange rate. In his words, the path to unification is not an easy one…but going backwards would even be worse.”

Need for a credible fiscal strategy

Going further, he spoke on the need to implement a credible fiscal strategy and invest in both physical and digital infrastructure, agriculture, and education.

He said,

  • “The government needs to articulate and implement a credible fiscal strategy that will provide the resources to make critical investments.
  • I recognize that the decision to end fuel subsidies is hard for Nigerians… the government can use the resources to invest in physical, digital infrastructure, education, and a strong small business environment.”

The U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary further commented on the need for the government not to be oblivious to the pains caused by the recent economic reforms and noted that international development partners like the World Bank, and African Development Bank (AfDB) are committed to working with the government.

Problems limiting Nigeria’s agriculture sector

Speaking on bottlenecks to Nigeria scaling its agricultural sector, Mr Adeyemo highlighted access to fertilizers, credits, limited use of technology, and high market entry cost as the factors hindering food security.

He said,

  • “This need is no greater than the agricultural sector which despite the digital revolution going on in Nigeria remains Nigeria’s top employer.
  • Its full potential is held back by issues like access to fertilizers, limited use of new technology, access to water and land, and the unavailability of credits and a high market entry cost”

He also harped on the need for Nigeria to address corruption and the perception of corruption in both government and business.

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