The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it is not comfortable with the present approach of the Federal Government to economic issues, which has continued to diminish investors’ confidence.
It, therefore, demanded an immediate release of the economic blueprint of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, just as the council urged the government to constitute an economic team to facilitate the new policy direction.
These were the highpoints of the LCCI’s resolutions at its meeting held in Lagos on Wednesday, according to a communique signed by its Director-General, Mr. Muda Yusuf.
The meeting, which was presided over by its Chairman, Mr. Remi Aluko, deliberated on the state of the economy, the business and the economic conditions, and the fiscal outlook of the country.
It noted that there was no clarity yet in the policy direction of the government in relations to the economy, which it described as a major factor in investors’ confidence.
“The uncertainty that began in January this year seems to have lingered. Council urged the Buhari administration to make a clear pronouncement with respect to its fiscal policy, foreign exchange policy, tax policy, subsidy policy, trade policy, reform of oil and gas sector (upstream and downstream), the power sector, the 2015 budget, the auto policy, sectoral policies, etc. All these are necessary for investors to have a clear insight into the policy direction of the government and take strategic investment decisions,” it stated.
Although the LCCI acknowledged the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria to protect the foreign reserves and stabilise the exchange rate, it disagreed with the bank’s strategies.
It said, “The current model of foreign exchange management by the CBN has profound negative consequences for investors’ confidence and the stability of the foreign exchange market.
“Council, therefore, calls for a more strategic framework for the management of the foreign exchange market. Council urged the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to quickly set up an economic team that will interface with the CBN, the organised private sector and the key economic ministries to come up with a sustainable model for the management of the foreign exchange market.”
The LCCI, which expressed concern over the weak capacity of state and local governments to meet their financial obligations, however, commended the recent intervention of the Federal government in mitigating the conditions.
“The current situation underscores the imperative of economic diversification and prudent management of state resources,” it stated.
It also commented on the new administration’s efforts at blocking all fiscal leakages and recovering looted funds, saying these were commendable and urged that appropriate structures and institutions “should be put in place at all levels of government to sustain the integrity and transparency of public sector transactions.”