Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has proposed the establishment of a commodity exchange to ensure stability in the prices of agricultural produce to help drive an increase in the volume of trade internally and externally as a means of containing the present recession.
Obasanjo also called for a revitalization of the coastal shipping system to boost trans-African trade with other countries on the continent from the current 12 per cent to about 22 per cent, Punch reports.
He made the suggestion on Monday during the opening of the on going 8th National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment holding in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The former president also espoused the need for fiscal discipline and concerted effort by government to spend less on goods that the nation could do away with, earn more from the manufacturing sector and borrow for key infrastructural development.
Speaking at the event, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo reiterated his stand that the recession would be short-lived, as government was working round the clock to bring an end to pipeline vandalism and begin the diversification of the economy.
He blamed the present economic woes on the loss of about 60 per cent of oil revenue, and expressed optimism that despite the drop in electricity generation to less than 3,000 megawatts, Nigeria could still meet the 7,000MW target by 2017.
According to him, the Federal Government was currently working on eight to nine transmission stations across the country to achieve the 7,000MW generation capacity.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is equally working on increasing gas supplies to enable the Federal Government increase power supply throughout the country towards improving the energy needs of the country,” the vice president stated.
The vice-president added that a privately-owned refinery has been encouraged to refine about 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day to ease the problem of local consumption.