Given the present economic realities and indices, a group of experts have predicted that year 2016, though full of opportunties would be a tough year for the country.
This was part of the submissions made by team of experts invited as guests speakers at this year's edition of Nigerian Economic Outlook.
The economic forum courtesy Networks Business Club of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David took place at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The Nigerian Business Outlook is an annual exclusive event aimed at sensitizing the organized private sector, business executives, SMEs and investors on the opportunities in the different sectors of the Nigerian economic space.
The guest speakers included Herbert Wigwe, GMD Access Bank Group; Mutiu Sunmonu, former managing director Shell Petroleum Development Coopration,Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, former executive chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, representative of Lagos state governor- Akinyemi Ashade (commissioner for economic planning and budget), Ernest Ebi, chairman, Networks Business Club, Bismarck Rewane, managing director Financial Derivatives.
Giving the opening remarks, Idowu Iluyomade, pastor City of David said the forum was meant to prepare Nigerians ahead of the economic realities and the opportunities there in.
''We believe we are in position to give an outlook of what we think the year we bring. We have put together men of hindsight, divine insight and foresight. We actually want to prepare the people not only to see the problems but also the opportunities even from the problems that appear to be facing the country. We want to equip them to face the odds so that at the end of the year people will smile,'' he said.
All the guest speakers took turn to share their perspectives on the economic outlook in 2016, the challenges as well as the opportunities.
Akinyemi Ashade, commissioner for economic planning and budget who represented Lagos state governor at the forum said the state government is doing everything to create the right business environment and protect the business interest of investors in the state.
Speaking on how the economy would fair in 2016, Ernest Ebi, chairman, Networks Business Club predicted that year 2016 would be bright in spite the challenges 'The future is bright but the road is bumpy,'' he said.
Mutiu Sunmonu, former managing director Shell emphasised that most businesses did not prepare for the economic realities of 2015. And as a result, they got caught up in the game.
Sunmonu who reeled out various investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector said investment in the sector require huge capital because it's a business of volume, time and numbers.
Though acknowledged that the year 2016 would be rough, Sunmonu believed demand will catch up with supply in 2017.
In the same vein, Bismarck Rewane, managing director, Financial Derivatives describing economic outlook for 2015 in comparism with that of 2016 said the the country experienced an economic setback in the first quarter of the 2015 due to electioneering campaign while the second quarter was for transition.
''The third quarter of 2015 was obviously a period of oblivion while the country was confronted with its economic realities at the fourth quarter,'' he said.
The expert is not impressed the market in 2015 recorded a loss of about 17.3%, investors wealth eroded by 14.18% while it has already lost 21.27% in 2016.
According to him, the fundamentals of the stock market this year would remain weak.
He concluded that 2015 was a rough year, 2016 will be a tough year while 2017 would be a soft year.
However, for the situation to improve in 2016, Rewane suggested that the misalignment of exchange rate as experienced in 2015 should corrected.
He emphasised that if the devaluation of the naira is destructive, it is imperative for the relevant agency to note that the revaluation of the naira can be constructive.