NACCIMA charges government on ERGP implementation
To reverse the negative economic profile of the nation, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has charged the Federal Government on the need to ensure that the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) is effectively implemented.
NACCIMA President, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, berated the state of the economy, calling on the government to work on improving Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), and block leakages caused by corruption, inefficiency, insecurity and poor policy implementation.
Urging the government to stop the over-dependence on oil, she talked at length on government’s policies and the impact such policies have on enterprise in the association’s midyear review of the Nigerian economy.
According to her, the economy has been experiencing steady negative growth rate for the past five quarters before officially slipping into recession in the third quarter of 2016.
She noted that the negative growth was as a result of drastic reduction in earnings from crude oil sale caused by the decline in oil prices, persistent increase in inflation, unemployment and interest rates; unstable foreign exchange system as well as government’s failure to diversify the economy from mainly crude oil earnings.
Lamenting that the nation is still highly dependent on oil, she posits that with the proper implementation and effective monitoring of the fiscal and monetary policies of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP), the nation’s economy will improve.
Lauding the ERGP, she called on government not to let it go the way of other government ideas, which are usually labored by proper implementation, monitoring, tracking, feedback and information dissemination.
Urging government to ensure that timelines for each milestone of the EGRP are strictly adhered to, she pleaded that borrowing be limited to investments and capital projects alone and not for consumption.
Frowning at the nation’s external debt, which stands at $13.8 billion presently, she said this action limits the funds available for private companies from financial markets, which in turn worsens the economy.
According to her, this crowding out effect creates a demand pressure that drives up coast of funds in the form of high interest rates, which discourages investments and economic growth.
Lawson further called for a single digit interest rate system, saying the high interest rates have been a major impediment to enterprise development. “Unemployment is on the increase, currently at almost 15% and worsened by inflation and interest rates. NACCIMA is calling on the government to ensure banks set aside 10% of their profit after tax every year for the development of SMEs,” she added.
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