LCCI, economy, reforms

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has called on the Federal Government to reform the economy as some of its policy portend more danger for the economy than benefit.

The President, LCCI, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, said, “We need the right mix of policies to achieve the desired outcomes.  I am aware that some policy choices have been made by the present administration to promote economic diversification, stabilise the foreign exchange market and promote small businesses.

“Evidently, there are still some works to be done.  There is a need for regular engagements and communication on policy issues to ensure quality feedback and enrich the policymaking process.”

Ruwase said there should be engagement on macroeconomic policies, and sectoral policies, which would include foreign exchange, trade, tax, energy, transport, industrial, agricultural, and ICT among others.

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“The slow pace of reforms in the oil and gas sector, especially the fact that the Petroleum Industry Bill could not make it through the eighth National Assembly is a cause for worry. And the part that was passed was not signed by the President,” he added.

According to him, the indefinite closure of the country’s borders with its neighbouring African neighbours will ultimately hurt the economy and cross-border economic activities.

He said, “Nigeria’s economy had strong fundamentals, as the resources were enormous. The closure of the land borders has enormous implications for cross border economic activities around the country.

“The indications are now that the closure is indefinite.  While we share the concern of government on issues of security and smuggling, we believe that the indefinite closure of land borders is not the solution to the problem.”

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Ruwase, who acknowledge that the government had introduced some economic reforms to take the economy out of the woods, said a lot still needed to be done.

However, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was committed to creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Adebayo said, “The relevant government agencies were working assiduously on initiatives and programmes to solve key areas of concerns, ranging from infrastructure, power supply to good road networks across the country.”

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