Despite the numerous challenges confronting the nation, Nigeria still remains open to local and external investors in securities and various other key projects across the country, Patience Oniha, the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), said at the recently held Corona Merchant Bank 3RD Symposium.
Oniha, who was the guest speaker at the event titled "Nigeria Moving Beyond COVID-19 – Opportunities For Investors", said the government also encourages public-private partnerships (PPPs).
She reaffirmed the government’s determination to provide a stable macroeconomic environment to attract the much-needed investment to stimulate a positive growth trajectory.
Oniha posited that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the country still succeeded in providing the bedrock for economic diversification of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and revenue base.
"The Nigerian government has introduced several reforms which are being implemented to attract more investments, grow and further diversify the country’s GDP and revenue", she stated.
Also speaking at the event was Emmanuel Etaderhi, representing Bola Onadele, Koko, Chief Executive Officer, FMDQ Group, who advised the government to adopt a more responsible fiscal and monetary attitude when borrowing or considering borrowing.
He believes that the nation will run into troubled waters if the current borrowing trend continues.
"Countries borrow for very valid reasons, mostly to put them in a stronger position in terms of their economic strength.
"However, borrowing beyond the ability to pay makes debt unsustainable. This has an impact on investments, whether external or local, because the pricing of the instruments within the financial markets will be affected, as well as the ability to earn externally. "
"It is very important to maintain a sustainable debt level and, more importantly, to use the debt for productive purposes, which can have a multiplier effect on the economy and generate more revenue.
"The government can refinance debt by looking at lower-interest borrowing instruments in the capital markets. It can also use the instrumentality of the financial markets to stimulate economic activities that will enable the revenue base to expand exponentially", he said.
Banjo Adegbohungbe, Managing Director/CEO, Coronation Merchant Bank, believes that the country is on the right path of sustainable economic growth as key sectors have been positively impacted.
"Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy has been adversely impacted, and this has escalated the challenge of raising debt for more developing and emerging economies.
"Nigeria has not been left out of these complexities. Even though we have successfully raised debt this year, it is obvious that the challenges we face are substantial and have been exacerbated by the pandemic", he opined.
"However, opportunities still exist. Our economy has recovered from the recession and is on a trajectory of positive growth across a number of sectors, with a demonstration of positive business sentiment and increased market activity.
"Today’s discourse will guide all of you and provide insights into navigating the debt market in the coming year and identify possibilities beneficial for growth and expansion."