Former Central Bank Deputy Governor, Chiedu Moghalu, has called for the Federal Government of Nigeria to protect young industries in the country through ‘smart protectionism’ by charging tariffs for a seven-year period, under the auspices of the special and differentiated provisions of the World Trade Organization treaty.
Speaking on the theme “The Challenge of Economic Growth in Nigeria” at the Goody Jidenma Foundation Public Lecture held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017, the founder of the Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation (IGET), emphasized the importance of building a stronger economy by supporting the manufacturing sector through government subsidy and incentives, and maintaining accountabilities from companies in terms of their exports to the ECOWAS, African and broader global markets.
“From 2019, the federal government should establish an economic philosophy, a concrete diversification plan with a concrete path to a post-oil future for Nigeria based on emerging global trends. Such vision should clearly state the respective roles of the state and the market, and its position on capitalism and its various adaptations – entrepreneurial, crony capitalism, state capitalism, and welfare capitalism.
Explaining the need to increase Nigeria’s non-oil revenue base, Moghalu also advised tax authorities to follow the ownership trail of the country’s estimated 140 million mobile telephone lines, thereby bringing operators in the informal economy into the tax net and the formal economy, an approach that he said would generate internal revenue and reduce the need for external indebtedness.
“In return, the government must enter into, and deliver on a solemn social contract with the Nigerian people to provide our citizens with the most basic goods – security, access to education, quality healthcare, and infrastructure”, he stated.
Led by renowned political economist Pat Utomi, the Goddy Jidenma Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation founded in 2007 in memory of Goddy Nwaolisa Jidenma, an architect who dedicated his life in service to humanity.
The former United Nations official joined other leaders at the event to promote ethical leadership initiatives, promote self-discovery among Nigerian youths and thought leadership discussions that would contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of Nigeria and Africa.