Nigeria needs an economically vibrant technocrat as Minister of Finance to put its economy on a sound footing, says an industrialist, Mr Imo Anasonye.
The industrialist made the disclosure in an interview with journalists in Aba on Tuesday.
Anasonye, also the Director-General, National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Abia chapter, said: “We need an up to date, dynamic Minister of Finance.
“Somebody that is well abreast of the Nigeria’s economic situation and somebody that has within his or her reach, the solution to what is happening in Nigeria’s economic sphere now.
“We need a vibrant Finance Minister, somebody that understands the economic game and plays it well to turn around the economic fortunes of this nation, because if we don’t get that, we are sunk.
“We need someone who knows about pure economic planning because Nigeria cannot continue relying only on oil revenue which is dwindling by the day.
“We need to shore up the capacities of the real sector without further delay in a strategic manner.“
Anasonye said that the nation’s economy was having hiccups and needed proper economic planning to boost the real sector, the backbone of great economies.
He stressed that with a good economist grounded in economic planning, the real sector would be revived for the benefit of all Nigerians as the nation would depend less on oil.
The industrialist expressed concern that SMEs, which contributed much to the economy, were rarely captured in national and state budgets and cautioned that continuing in that direction would ruin Nigeria’s economy further.
Anasonye said that the only way to grow the economy fast in a big way was for governments to invest in SMEs through SME institutions like NASSI, Chambers of Commerce, among others.
He further suggested continuous dialogue between the government and SME operators and sincerity on the part of government in order to take the SMEs to the height desired in sustaining the economy.
“Let the SME institutions be included in the policies that affect them because.You cannot continue to separate the SME institutions from the economic management systems and expect things to be right, it cannot be right.’’
Anasonye said that Nigeria was bigger than a beggarly nation seeking funds from everywhere it turned into, adding that Nigeria needed to develop its rich economic capacities.
He noted that Nigerians were yearning for political offices because there were less jobs for people to engage in the real sector, but expressed optimism that with developed economic capacities, politics would become less attractive to people.
The industrialist said that solving Nigeria’s economic problems would not take rocket science but only required knowledge, courage and political willpower to accomplish, with the resources available.