7 key people who will shape Nigeria's economic activities in 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo receive the APC National Working Committee in Aso Rock [Twitter/@NGRPresident]
  • Nigeria’s economy is expected to continue on a sluggish pace in 2020.
  • The continental free trade agreement, land border closure, and the common currency will shape the country’s economic activities this year. 
  • We look at some Nigerians who will shape the economic activities of the country in 2020.

2020 is here, and the economy of Nigeria's most populous nation will be at the center stage of global and regional attention, with full focus on the continental free trade agreement and the regional common currency.

Various powerhouses have predicted sluggish growth and the African Development Bank (AfDB) projected real GDP to grow by 2.4% in 2020 on implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of President Muhammadu Buhari's led government.

For the business landscape to strive, some business moguls promote and dictate the direction of the country's economy.

Business Insider SSA looks at seven of these people whose 'cough' can change the narrative about the business environment:

All eyes will be on President Muhammadu Buhari's economic advisory team. There were arguments last year whether they were really appointed to dictate and influence the government's direction in economic policies or serve as 'figureheads'. Time can only tell how functional the council will be despite 'beautiful brainy' composition.

The whole of Africa is waiting for what is dubbed the biggest refinery outlet on the continent. Sited at Lekki Nigeria, Africa's wealthiest man is building a 'crazy' petrochemical refinery capable of creating 300,000. jobs. When completed, Aliko Dangote will continue to be one of the go-to people shaping the economic landscape of the country.

One man stands out in the contemporary banking industry – Herbert Wigwe – the CEO of Access Bank Plc.

In the banking sector, he continues to make a giant moves since he pulled off a stunt acquiring Intercontinental Bank in 2012. Last year, he sealed a business combination deal with the ‘rich-digital’ Diamond Bank to become Africa's financial powerhouse. The bank also extended its move to East Africa, acquiring one of the country's commercial banks.

As the head of the Banker's Committee, among its peers, Wigwe rubs shoulders with the likes of GTBank's Segun Agbaje, Zenith Bank Plc's Jim Ovia, and others.

In December 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Mohammed Nami as the country's new chief taxman. Tasks before the new Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Boss include the issue of double taxation, dwindling revenue accrual over the years, ease in tax collections as well as tax policies that are friendly with the business landscape and investors.

Nami's direction as the helmsman of FIRS will project the image of the country on Ease of Doing Business and other approaches on whether to welcome or send investors away. Nevertheless, the country also needs to work in tandem with the various regional policies on tax rules and regulations, an example of such is the Africa free trade policy.

Mrs. Ahmed is Nigeria's super minister in President Muhammadu Buhari's kitchen cabinet. She oversees the combined Ministry of Finance and Budget and National Planning.

On the fiscal side of the economy, Mrs. Ahmed's works include coordination of all major activities of the economy, including policy alignment with the monetary side to set the tune for the ailing economy.

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria is another main part and one of the driving forces off the country's economy. With various monetary instruments at his disposal, Emefiele and his colleagues at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will coordinate the financial landscape of the economy by setting rates, taming inflation where necessary, and ensuring the stability of the country's currency.

Muhammadu Buhari serves as the president and Minister of Petroleum. He is the end-man in all conversations that have to do with the economy. His statements and actions will also serve as pointers for would-be investors.

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