Chief Consultant of B. Adedipe Associates Limited, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, has charged the Federal Government to utilise excess earnings from crude sale proceeds to reduce the fiscal deficits and build infrastructure.

He also charged that the government must take insurance seriously and in a responsible manner.

Speaking at a media parley sponsored by Boff Insurance Brokers Limited and B. Adedipe Associates Limited, in Lagos, Adedipe said: “The price has been favourable to us. It is either you use the gain to reduce the deficit or to build infrastructure, which ultimately will also increase government’s revenue.”

Adedipe also warned that the forthcoming election could create foreign exchange liquidity pressure as there would be too much money in circulation.

He said: “In pre-election years, politicians spend a lot of money and that creates liquidity pressure. You have so much money circulating and that stands to put pressure on prices, so, it is expected this year that there will be inflationary pressure.”

Adedipe decried a high volume of imports against dwindling exports.

“In recent years, import value in Nigeria has become far higher than exports. Yes, we export crude oil; we export condensates as well as associated gas. Despite that, we have been importing more than we export. That has been creating employment for other countries to the detriment of our country.”

Adedipe said there is nothing wrong with borrowing, except that we should not “borrow to buy food.”

Don’t borrow for consumption, if you must borrow, borrow for anything that is an investment in nature. We produce c
rude oil but we don’t refine oil.”

Speaking on the insurance sector, Adedipe said: “For the sector to grow, the government also needs to be responsible for its insurance obligations, which talk about paying the premium. There is also the need for flexibility and also ensuring that compulsory insurance is enforced because enforcement has always been an issue.

“If government is responsible and puts a lot of effort into enforcement, then what we have today as compulsory insurance will create more value.” And when the insurance sector is vibrant, it will galvanise businesses and individuals to take risks; that is how economies grow.

“The freedom to take risks is on the back of a vibrant insurance sector. So, the conversation should be, how do we make that sector vibrant?”