The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the Federal Government to sustain its targeted interventions in critical sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, export, infrastructure, etc.
Speaking at the chamber’s State of the Economy Outlook press conference in Lagos on Tuesday, its President, Michael Olawale-Cole, stated that high inflation, continuous rise in interest rates and foreign exchange scarcity have stunted the growth of the manufacturing sector.
According to him, growth in the manufacturing sector has remained subdued due to high energy costs (due to subsidy removal and electricity tariffs), and the weakening purchasing power of Nigerians.
He further stated that the Federal Government needed to sustain its targeted interventions in critical sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, export, infrastructure, etc.
Olawale-Cole also said that the government should focus on addressing the security challenges that had plagued the business community and negatively affected investment inflows.
He said, “In the short term, growth in manufacturing is expected to remain weak due to squeezed consumer spending, while the outlook in the medium term is projected to improve due to subsidy removal which may attract investment in oil refining and other opportunities in the sector.
“We advocate that more policy reforms should be embarked upon by the government to improve the business environment, boost investor confidence, stimulate economic growth, create more employment and alleviate poverty.”
The LCCI president commended the government on recent economic reforms.
Speaking further, Olawale-Cole said that to reduce the shocks from disruptions to supply chains for raw materials, manufacturers should be assisted with subsidised input and more allocation of forex for the importation of critical inputs.
He added, “The cost of logistics has gone up due to the poor state of our roads and the inadequate connectivity amongst farms, factories and markets.
“The LCCI commends the Federal Government for the recent effort to improve infrastructure, such as the completion of the Second Niger Bridge, which is a key national infrastructure. LCCI would like to see more of such developments for the organised private sector’s benefit.”