Recession: NACCIMA warns against policies impacting against private sector
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture has advised the government against implementing policies that negatively impacts the productivity and survival of the private sector.
This warning was contained in a remarks presented by the Director, NACCIMA, Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni at a workshop organized by the Commerce and Industry Correspondence Association of Nigeria on Saturday.
The NACCIMA DG spoke against the backdrop of the high rate of inflation, unemployment and increased foreign indebtedness brought about by the Covid-19 pandemics.
“As these unfortunate events continue to bring about the loss of jobs and loss of business, the private sector must once again adapt and evolve for its survival.
“As has been stated on multiple occasions, the official position of NACCIMA is that government must resist the urge to implement policies that negatively impact the productive and consumption capacity of the private sector; the stimulus packages enunciated in the Economic Sustainability Plan must be promptly and efficiently disbursed for the desired impact in various sectors of the economy,” he stated.
Speaking further, he said, “Policies must be implemented to improve ease of doing business and reducing the cost of doing business, especially for SMEs that make about 48 per cent to our national Gross Domestic Product and provide about 84 per cent employment according to various studies.
“Implicitly, our SMEs that are the private sector operators are the bedrock of our economy and we must do all we can to support them, not just to survive but flourish as we consider strategic options out of recession hopefully by first quarter of 2021.”
Noting that opportunities were already opening up as the nation gets ready for the operation of the African Continental Free Trade Area in January 2021, the NACCIMA DG emphasized the need to reposition the economy, especially the manufacturing sector.
He added, “We must also reposition the Nigerian economy especially the manufacturing sector by improving infrastructure such as power, roads, rail and ensure efficient functioning of our Ports. This is to enable us compete effectively and successfully under the AfCFTA.
“We must encourage private sector operators to key into the AfCFTA essentially because they will be the key players under the agreement.”
Olukanni blamed Nigeria’s woes on its over dependence on revenue from crude oil, stressing the need for diversification of the economy, noting, “This is a reminder that we must really work hard to diversify our economy.
“We face dwindling foreign exchange reserves, increasing domestic and foreign debt, and difficulties in doing business brought about largely by an infrastructure deficit in the power and transportation sectors.”
Commending CICAN for hosting the workshop, with the theme, “Effects of COVID-19 on the Real Sector and Financing for SMEs,” Olukanni said it was a reflection of the seriousness with which the association takes its role as the fourth-estate of the realm and its role to disseminate instructive and relevant information to aid advocacy, business development and trade promotion in the commercial and industrial sectors of the economy.