West African countries affected by COVID-19 pandemic need to look inward to revamp their economies, Dr Hassan Mahmud, Director, Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had advised.

He advised a diagnostic Webinar organised by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting had as its topic: “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Economies of WAIFEM Member Countries.”

The countries concerned are Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

According to him, most advanced economies have started looking inward because of the externalities and shocks that they have experienced.

“ We should start looking inward at the regional level and at the country level to see that we are revamping our Agricultural sector, the Small and Medium Enterprises and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, such that we can be able to aggregate our domestic demand level to meet our supply capacities,” he said.

Mahmud urged countries to consider perfecting or improving the value chain of the agricultural sector from the primary production to the end-user.

According to him, when this is done, there will be a vertical integration that will revamp a lot of our economies living it less-dependent of external financing.

Earlier, the countries gave a very detailed analysis of the state of their economies and their responses to COVID-19, and the story from each representative was more or less the same.

They said the beginning was a health crisis which translated to an economic crisis and then to issues that had to do with fiscal and monetary development.

However, they predicted a recession in 2020, expressing optimism that their economies would get back to recovery path in 2021.