BPE Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ayo Teriba, called for Opening of Nigerian Economy through Privatization which stimulate FDI


A leading economist and the Chief  Executive Officer of Economic Associates, Dr. Ayo Teriba, has called for the opening of the Nigerian  economy through privatisation which stimulates foreign direct  investment(FDI.)

“Privatisation is the tool which most countries use to check their liquidity issue and beef up the  economy and Nigeria can also do the same by privatising some  of her key sectors”, Teriba stated, adding that a  macro-economic approach to privatisation is ideal.

Speaking as a Guest Lecturer at a two-day retreat with the theme Rediscovery and Repositioning organised by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in Abuja  on August 18-19, 2017, he explained that illiquidity is the  country’s main challenge. Said he: “To solve Nigeria’s  liquidity problem, she needs foreign exchange inflow.

Nigeria’s annual export revenue has been halved.  Nigeria’s problem is that other problems are symptoms of  the (liquidity) problem. Recession is reflecting a liquidity  shortage.”

He pointed out that privatisation is  now the trend the world over; citing Saudi Arabia and India  which plan to privatise some of their critical sectors to  raise funds to develop their economies. Teriba explained  that Saudi Arabia avoided recession because of its huge  foreign reserves. Saudi Arabia plans to raise about $200  billion through the privatization of 16 sectors ranging from healthcare and airports to education.

The renowned economist noted that  Nigeria relies almost exclusively on volatile export revenue  and neglected opportunities to attract massive and more stable diaspora and FDI inflows, whereas “non-resident  Indians and Chinese invest massively at home to fund economic recovery and growth efforts of their respective  countries.” He queried why it did not occur to Nigeria to  do the same before now.

Teriba recalled that Nigeria used to  attract more FDI than India, South Korea, South Africa and  UAE but noted that these countries have now overtaken Nigeria. He called for the opening up of the vents for  investment to flow by breaking all government monopolies as  has been done in telecommunication and power sectors.

“China’s inward FDI stock rose from  $20bn in 1990 to $1.08trillion in 2015 and Nigeria held  nearly half of what China held in 1990 but held only nine  percent of what China held in 2015. Where did we go  wrong?” he asked.

Teriba further  revealed that  although Nigeria has about N100 trillion in her economy, it  was not evenly distributed and suggested that instead of the present agitation for political restructuring, those in its  vanguard should agitate for sectoral, resource and revenue  restructuring.

Declaring the retreat open, the  Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr.  Alex A. Okoh, said the aim is to help the Bureau in applying a different kind of thinking by involving every member of  the BPE family in a strategic episode where “we can  together build a bridge between the dream of a new BPE and  the actions that we must collectively take to make that  dream a reality”.

This new vision for the Bureau is hinged on the two pillars of the new vision of the  Bureau—Rediscovery and Repositioning.  The  rediscovery pillar, the DG said would lead the Bureau to  retrace and redefine its core values and reclaim its culture  of professionalism, knowledge, competence, integrity and  transparency. The repositioning pillar, on the other hand,  aims to set the Bureau on a path that would help it engage  with the future effectively and with confidence, to  guarantee that its objectives are achieved.



Head, Public Communications