By Yinka Kolawole
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on the Federal Government to sustain its interventions in critical sectors of the economy to prevent the country from going into economic recession in 2023.
Director General, LCCI, Dr Chinyere Almona, made the call in a statement made available to Vanguard on projecting the nation’s economic outlook for 2023, adding that there is need for sound monitoring and evaluation over the budget allocations.
Almona stated: “The Federal Government needs to sustain its targeted interventions in selected critical sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, export infrastructure, tackling insecurity, and free more money from subsidy payments.
“It is very imperative that we need sound monitoring and evaluation over the budget allocations to capital projects and defence spending to respectively tackle infrastructural deficit and the fight against insurgency.
“We urge the government to tackle oil theft to earn more foreign exchange, borrow from cheaper sources to reduce the burden of debt servicing, and pave the way for the removal of the fuel subsidy by the incoming government.”
She also noted that the government must block revenue leakages, reduce costs, and empower the private sector to create jobs and generate more revenue to the government.
According to the LCCI DG, the base factors that may continue to drive the major economic indicators in Nigeria are the rising inflation rate, tight monetary policies, an unstable currency, foreign exchange scarcity, debt burden, currency management, food supply disruptions, exchange rate volatility, and election spending.
Reviewing monetary policy developments in 2022, Almona noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) deployed a tightening monetary policy to stabilize prices, adding that further increase in MPC rates is anticipated in January.
“The rates rose from 11.5% in January and peaked at 16.5% in November 2022. This is expected to rise further during the MPC meeting in January to 17% to curb the persistent inflation and prevent capital flight.
“The Chamber had earlier recommended that rate hikes alone would not curb inflation. In 2023, we need fiscal interventions to support strategic sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, transport logistics, and more allocation of forex to productive sectors,” she stated.
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Last modified: January 4, 2023