Toyin Sanni urges the government to incentivise businesses to stimulate growth

To stimulate economic growth, businesses need to be incentivised, Toyin Sanni said at the ThinkBusiness Africa Breakfast Meeting at the Capital Club, Lagos. Speaking on government reforms and the recent monetary measures of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanni argues that there should be an alignment of both fiscal and monetary policies, both in the short and long run. The government and the monetary authorities should not only be concerned about attracting foreign investments, but also providing incentives to domestic businesses. Sanni stressed further that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) need support to grow and they need to be to access cheap capital that is only available in the capital market. She highlighted the US $15 million foreign funding Emerging Capital has just finalised with a Singaporean fund to support small businesses in Africa, and the need to bridge the gap in the middle space of Nigeria’s production. Essentially, she stressed the potential of the equity market to support SME growth. By facilitating access to capital, the equity market can empower SMEs to expand their operations, create jobs, and contribute to sustainable economic development.  The conversation extended beyond the capital market, acknowledging the need for a comprehensive approach to addressing the various challenges faced by investors in Nigeria. Sanni emphasised the importance of improved infrastructure including transportation and energy networks, which is crucial for attracting and facilitating investment. She also argued for improved regulatory frameworks, touching on clear and predictable regulations which are essential for fostering investor confidence and creating a stable investment environment. On promoting transparency and good governance, Sanni reiterated on strong corporate governance practices and transparency in financial reporting, which are crucial for building trust and attracting investors. Toyin Sanni’s participation in the ThinkBusiness Africa Breakfast Meeting served as a powerful reminder of the critical role collaboration and knowledge sharing play in shaping Nigeria’s investment landscape. By bringing together diverse stakeholders, including policymakers, business leaders, and experts, ThinkBusiness Africa breakfast meeting provides a platform that is beyond identifying challenges but to also implementing effective solutions that pave the way for a brighter investment future in Nigeria. The ThinkBusiness Breakfast meeting had two sections. In the first section, led by Ogho Okiti, CEO of ThinkBusiness Africa, provided insights into Nigeria’s economic and policy landscape. In his presentation on the Naira Crisis, Okiti shared that the government should pay greater attention to the root of the current crisis, which is the awful fiscal policy of the last administration. In the context, the heavy lifting of the solution should come from the fiscal side and not the almost entire focus on the monetary policy and its short-term instruments. He argued that the current approach of using monetary policy solutions for largely fiscal problems, not only raises the burden on businesses, but not sustainable. You may also like: All Posts Features 30 and increasing number of African countries now have IMF financing arrangements Economy 17 June 2024/   Following recent economic shocks of Covid 19, the Russia / Ukraine and the accompanied tightening financial conditions, data shows… Read More

30 and increasing number of African countries now have IMF financing arrangements Economy

  Following recent economic shocks of Covid 19, the Russia / Ukraine and the accompanied tightening financial conditions, data shows that at least 30 Africa countries now have some sort of financing arrangements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The latest on Burkina Faso is contained in the press realease by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) below. The IMF Executive Board today completed the first review of Burkina Faso’s Extended Credit Facility arrangement. The decision allows for an immediate disbursement of about US$ 31.7 million. The Executive Board also completed the 2024 Article IV consultation. Burkina Faso’s performance under the program has been positive. All quantitative performance criteria, all indicative targets but one, and most structural benchmarks for the first review were met; some structural benchmarks were implemented with delay. The authorities are progressing in their fiscal consolidation efforts, structural reforms and fiscal governance measures, and the creation of fiscal space for priority spending. Growth accelerated in 2023 to 3.6 percent of GDP, supported by a rebound in construction and expansion of the tertiary sector. Inflation significantly decreased, and the fiscal and debt positions improved. Growth is projected at 5.5 percent in 2024 but remains below potential in the medium term, and a lasting recovery is contingent on bringing security under control. Washington, DC – June 14, 2024: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded today the Article IV consultation [1] with Burkina Faso. The Board also completed the First Review of the 48-month Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement, approved on September 21, 2023 . The approval of the first review enables the immediate disbursement of about US$ 31.7 million (SDR 24.08 million), bringing total IMF financial support under the arrangement to about US$63.4 million (SDR 48.16 million). The Board also completed the Financing Assurances Review. Burkina Faso faces multiple development challenges, including heightened security conditions, climate change, and food insecurity. This complicates efforts to combat food insecurity and forced displacement, while also disrupting economic activity, especially in the agriculture, livestock, and mining sectors. Following a modest GDP recovery of 3.6 percent in 2023, up from 1.8 percent in 2022, growth is projected to accelerate to 5.5 percent in 2024, buoyed by the expectation of improvements in the security situation. However, medium-term growth remains below potential. The overall fiscal deficit declined from 10.7 percent of GDP in 2022 to 6.7 percent of GDP in 2023, supported by revenue mobilization efforts and expenditure control. It is expected to further decline as fiscal consolidation efforts continue under the ECF-supported program. Inflation averaged 0.7 percent in 2023, down from 14.1 percent in 2022, and is projected to stabilize around 2 percent going forward. Public debt eased to 55.6 percent of GDP in 2023 and is expected to remain stable on account of convergence of the fiscal deficit to 3 percent of GDP over the program period. In January 2024 the authorities decided to exit the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) but reaffirmed their commitment to their membership in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), which should help support domestic and regional economic stability. The authorities are also committed to a capacity development agenda supported by the IMF and other partners to further enhance fiscal governance and transparency. Discussions under the 2024 Article IV consultation focused on measures to improve medium-term economic performance and resilience, including policies to (i) enhance growth through structural reforms, diversifying exports, regional integration, and addressing the security crisis; (ii) control fiscal risks and ensure fiscal sustainability; (iii) enhance social safety nets; (iv) adapt to, and mitigate the impact of, climate change; and (v) address forced displacement. Risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside, mainly stemming from the continuous threat of terrorist attacks, which weighs on mining and agricultural production, impacting government revenue collection and adding pressures on current spending. Following the Executive Board’s discussion, Mr. Kenji Okamura, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, issued the following statement: “Burkina Faso faces a challenging macroeconomic outlook amid large development and security needs, compounded by acute food insecurity and long-standing fragility. A sustained recovery, supported by a pick-up in agricultural production and gold mining, is contingent on substantial progress in security and overall reductions in political uncertainty. Adherence to a structural reform agenda aimed at improving economic efficiency, promoting private sector development, diversifying the economy, and increasing resilience to climate change could create the conditions for sustained, shock-resistant long-term growth and poverty reduction. “Despite the challenging context, the results achieved under the program are broadly satisfactory. All quantitative performance criteria and five of six indicative targets were reached by the end of December. Implementation of the authorities’ structural reform program is also broadly on track, with three of five structural benchmarks having been met by December. A resolute commitment to the policy and reform agenda under the arrangement, as well as to the timeline of the political transition, will be critical to safeguard fiscal and debt sustainability, anchor the country’s macroeconomic outlook, and catalyze additional concessional financing. “The authorities remain committed to a gradual fiscal consolidation. They plan to continue domestic revenue mobilization efforts, including by strengthening tax and customs administration. On the expenditure side, the authorities remain on track to bring the public sector wage bill as a share of tax revenue to a sustainable level over the medium term and on reforming the energy sector, including by reducing untargeted energy subsidies and increasing efficiency. In this context, strengthening fiscal governance and transparency is paramount to restoring donors’ trust and catalyze concessional financing. “Given the large humanitarian and socio-economic development needs, social spending must be further scaled up and social protection strengthened, including by consolidating existing social safety nets and accelerating the establishment of the Single National Registry of Beneficiaries. “For the country’s long-term development process, it remains essential to sustain structural reforms to foster economic growth and diversification, enhance fiscal governance and transparency, as well as to reduce poverty. In this context, further efforts to improve the business environment, reinforce governance and anti-corruption efforts, and address the security crisis are

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