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Experts proffer solutions for Lagos GDP computation, growth

By Idowu Abdullahi

Economic and statistics experts have disclosed that if Lagos State would achieve effective Gross Domestic Product (GDP) computation and record desired growth, the state would need to tackle issues bordering on insecurity, relevant data gathering, and the wealth creation process.

They argued that in coordinating statistical activities and getting relevant data in guiding the government’s decision and policymaking, the varying indicators that contribute to overall desired results must be balanced and inconsonant with 21st-century reality.

As stated, the optimization of wealth, measuring, and management of inputs that would determine achievable results were necessary foundations that must be made strong by the Lagos government before focus would be directed to gross domestic product computation.

The experts made the submission at the One-day Stakeholder’s Forum On The Computation of Lagos State Gross Domestic Product (SGDP) organised by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget (MEPB) held yesterday in Ikeja.

Speaking during the event, a celebrated economist and Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates, Dr. Ayo Teriba, noted that the current reality has mandated focus be shifted to wealth that creates measurable output and not output as end result, adding that more attention must be paid to wealth creation that would determine the continuous flow of output.

According to him, the starting wealth is more important in building the state’s statistical capacity as it is an important factor. “Industrialisation is giving way to financialisation. The wealth of each state plays a major role in optimising output and GDP growth,” he said.

Giving his recommendations after delivering his paper on ‘Lagos State Economic Outlook – The GDP Computation’, Teriba noted that Lagos must have global visibility and work on exploiting the indices of the global market value to its advantage, noting that it was important the state increase the value it adds to the global value chain.

In increasing the value chain, the economist recommended that the government must ensure the state becomes a global financial center, smart centers, reorganise, and correct the city centers which have turned from centers of wealth creation to wealth destruction.

Others, he said, were issues of insecurity in some parts of the state, adding that it was high time Lagos businesses owners operate 24-hours without hindrances as obtainable in other megacities across the world. “We should be looking at how Lagos State enables the citizens, businesses, and investors. GDP will be part of it and not all of it because progress is not measured by output but what triggers the output,” Teriba added.

On his part, the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, assured that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) would continue to support sub-nationals in providing meaningful statistical information that would guide the state government in its decision making.

“GDP is one of the key economic indicators that provide a general overview of the economic performance of any geographical entity be it a state or nation. The NBS has therefore been the vanguard of promoting state capacity for computation of the GDP.

“To this end, the NBS is supporting Lagos State drive by sending some key staff from National Accounts in the Macro-Economic Department to be part of the state Technical committee on State GDP (annual and quarterly). This symbiotic relationship has been extended to some states in the country,” he said.

Speaking earlier while delivering his welcome address, the Commissioner, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube, said that the event was designed to equip relevant stakeholders in readiness for gathering relevant economic data with a view to computing the State Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to him, the GDP which simply translates to the total monetary value of economic activities produced in a geographical area over a period of time, usually one year, remains one of the best international measures of economic performance and direction

“The need to continually provide evidence-based information that will guarantee appropriate measures of the state’s overall economic performance with a view to strengthening her areas of economic prominence and identifying the economic activities that are experiencing lull, in terms of growth and development, remains the hallmark of the GDP computation.

“The conduct of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had been carried out exclusively by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) until recently when the need to quantify the size and structure of the States’ economy became a worthwhile and prominent demand with a view to understanding the economic dynamics of the country as well as areas of comparative advantage by the state,” he said

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