Mr Nika Gilauri, a former Prime Minister (P.M.) of Georgia has said that Nigerian economy can be reformed through the introduction of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), tax to GDP income and fighting corruption.
Gilauri stated this on Monday at the opening of the 2017 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) with the theme “African Business: Penetrating Through Institution Building.’’ In Lagos.
Gilauri who cited Georgia, his country as a model, said that it previously ranked as the 112th worse place to do business in the world.
He said that it currently ranked as the eighth best place in the world to do business.
He noted that this change was possible because the government of Georgia found the right formulas in measuring performances of its workers.
He said that this should be the pivotal to be adopted by various governments including Nigeria in the economic growth of their countries.
The former PM speaking on the application of PPPs said, “Depending on the right formulas, if PPP initiative is properly implemented by the Federal Government, it can bring about amazing results.
“In Georgia, we did a huge and successful healthcare reform based on the PPP initiative, and it was an amazing feat.
“For Nigeria, it is hard to get Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from oil rich countries because of the perception by foreign investors who feel that such countries as Nigeria are wealthy.
“For Georgia, we were able to lure investors by saying we were poor and in dire need of funding.
“Investment was one of the driving forces for the reform in Georgia,” he said.
Gilauri said that Nigeria’s tax to GDP income rate of one per cent to six per cent was significantly low, and called for a reform in the tax policy of the country.
“Nigeria needs to increase its tax revenues by simplifying the tax process, this is an area that I believe the Nigerian economy can improve on because there are a lot of investment opportunities waiting to be explored in the country,” he said.
Gilauri who said that his country that gained notoriety for corruption in the past has now become one of the least corrupt countries in the world.
He said that if his country could achieve that positive feat, it was also possible for Nigeria.
“In 2004, Georgia was the fifth most corrupt country in the world; in 2010, it became the eighth least corrupt country in the world,
“There is nothing like innate or cultural corruption.
‘’ This transformation happened within five to six years; it was an amazing transformation and we have seen the zeal that the government of Nigeria is taking to fight corruption,” he said.
The former PM said that the fight against corruption in Georgia was based on three pillars; outsourcing and privatisation, simplification of government’s policy and attracting new people by paying them good salaries.
“We tried outsourcing to get rid of possible corrupt practices, and at a stage we even outsourced tax audits.
“Government policies have to be simplified and you have to attract new people as well as pay them good salaries.
“You cannot expect a civil servant to behave properly if he is not paid properly.
“We also introduced a performance-based bonus system into the Georgian civil service,” he said.
Gilauri said Nigeria has to overshadow its competitors and use the “out-of-the-box ideas” to help the reform process introduced by the Buhari administration to succeed.