Prof. Segun Ajibola, the immediate past President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), on Friday urged the Federal Government to focus on the service sector to boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Ajibola said in Lagos that the sector had the potential to generate more revenue, thereby enhancing the growth of the economy.
He identified the service sector such as tourism, entertainment, information and communication technology and communication (ICT) as the areas to be emphasised through policies to attract more investments and better returns.
According to him, the service sector just like agriculture, both components of the non-oil sector, can equally contribute to and improve the nation’s GDP.
Ajibola suggested that the Federal Government should emphasise the production of what Nigerians consume and consumption of what the country produces.
The former CIBN boss called on the government and the private sector to invest in facilities that would enable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), service sector among others to operate better.
He listed such facilities as conducive and secured environment as well as policies to continue to grow the sectors.
“Right now it is difficult for us to talk about a stable economy.
“We are talking about 1.95 percent or 2.11 per cent GDP growth rate; it is a reflection of the fact that we are still not stable.
“We must provide the facilities to enable the SMEs and service sector to operate.
“Facilities such as electricity, conducive and secured environment as well as policies must all be in place so that we can grow these sectors to a point of stability,” he said.
In order to ensure stability, Ajibola said, “We must continue to encourage agriculture, the way the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is doing it now through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.”
He said the nation was heavily dependent on import in terms of oil and gas, which made it vulnerable to the vagaries of the foreign exchange and global oil markets.
He urged the government to look inward so that the country would be less dependent on other parts of the world for its essential commodities such as foods and clothing.