By Rukayat Moisemhe
Lagos, Dec. 8, 2022 – Some economic experts on Thursday stressed the need for Nigeria to evolve economic framework and policies to guard against recession in 2023.
They spoke at the Kaizen Academy webinar with the theme: “Managing Personal and Business Resources in an Era of Economic Volatility,” on Thursday in Lagos.
Mrs Gbonju Fakeye, Vice President, Strategy and Transformation, FBN Quest Ltd., noted that 2023 would be characterised by rising inflation, job cuts and shrinking global economies.
In view of these, Fakeye said Nigeria needed the political will to deliver its macroeconomic policies in 2023 to reduce the impact of the projected global recession.
She also stressed the need for corporate organisations and individuals to brace up and restructure to accommodate the economic challenges of the year.
“The central banks would have to raise interest rates and do what they can to bring everything to an equilibrium in 2023.
“However, later in the year, things are expected to improve and the central banks would cut rates and find ways to stabilise the economy,” she said.
Mr Jimi Ogbobine, Head of Consulting, Augusto and Co. Consulting, said the year 2023 indicated the possibility that a few African countries might face debt challenges due to current unsustainable debt levels.
He, however, stated that for Nigeria, there was an upside seeing that the country’s macroeconomic problems could be corrected with the right policy framework.
Ogbobine called for the the political will to embark on reforms to correct the country’s economic narrative.
“The country’s current mess is due to policy reactions, missteps and lack of same to address the issues.
“With the right policies, such as the review of the foreign exchange strategy and proper infrastructure and security management, we can correct the narrative.
“For corporate planning, organisations must take economic scenerios into cognisance when planning to take businesses to a growth level in 2023.
“Individuals and businesses must keep their eyes on key indicators of interest rates, exchange rates, inflation and be more prudent going forward to guard against the economic challenges of the coming year,” he said.
Mr Moshood Babatunde, Group Finance Director, Lotus Capital Ltd., said the change in the country’s leadership in 2023 would result in a precautionary approach in investment.
He projected that due to macroeconomics issues, inflation would continue for the first half of the year 2023 and then begin to moderate by the second half of the year.
He furthered stated that the value of the naira, which was a mismatch of demand and supply as an import dependent country, was responsible for importing inflation and charged the Central Bank of Nigeria to continue to manage the monetary side of the economy.
“There would be increase in oil production and any attempt by CBN to unify the exchange rate would lead to stability of the naira as the difference between official and parallel windows would be narrowed.
“I, however, do not see a recession by slow growth of the economy at three per cent, which means that tough times are ahead and the business environment must gear up for that.
“Also, the oil subsidy removal in 2023 would have immediate and direct impact on the price of commodities leading to short term to medium term inflation, and Nigerians must brace up for the impact.
“The succour is when government begins to reinvest the savings from it into infrastructure, it would lead to the creation of more jobs,” he said.
Renah Oseimi, Chief Operating Officer, Zimvest, stated that insecurity, instability, food and energy crisis, and the aftermath effect of COVID-19 pandemic would drive several countries to recession.
She charged businesses to become more efficient and look through their internal processes, and leverage digital technology to boost their margins.
Moyosore Awopegba, Group Head, Financial Planning and Analysis, Tangerine Africa, said the extended timeline of the Ukraine-Russia war would further strain the global supply chain.