From Maurice Okafor,Enugu.
The Enugu Chamber of Commerce,Industries, Mines and Agriculture[ECCIMA] has urged the Federal government to redouble efforts in gingering economic growth,with caution that the our economy should not be allowed to slid into another recession this year.
ECCIMA said that based on economic experts projection of high cost of doing business in Nigeria due to poor infrastructure,multiplicity of taxes,excessive regulations and insecurity,among others,the performance of the trade sector in 2020 will be shaped by the direction of government policies. ECCIMA expressed believe that investments in power,manufacturing and transportation sectors are vital to our economic growth. But lamented that despite the huge investments in the power sector,Nigerians are yet to enjoy adequate power supply.
ECCIMA President,Pharmacist Sir Emeka Udeze, dropped this hints as part of his address delivered at the opening session of the 46th annual general meeting of the organization,held in Enugu yesterday.
Sir Udeze stated,’ The expectation of every well meaning Nigerian is that the economy would be stimulated in 2020. However, as statistics from the last quarter of 2019 indicated, the fundamentals of the economy were not as strong as government wished. The economy did not grow beyond two percent. At the end of 2019, Nigeria’s GDP had dropped by 0.16 percent to tow percent. No doubt, the country may face tougher financial crisis if government fells to initiate aggressive fiscal and monetary policies that will stimulate growth and stern inflation,unemployment and poverty’.
ECCIMA advised the government to reconsider and review downwards the value added tax[VAT] which was increased by 50 percent in 2019 as it will likely have negative effect on the real sector in particular.
It also advised the Central bank of Nigeria[CBN] to boost lending support to the real sector through finaincial intermediation and inclusiveness.
‘While we welcome the ban on certain good that can be produced locally, goverbnment should retain the land borfer closure and deepen the diversification of the economy through the agricultural sector that is already yielding results. Since Agriculture is key to economic growth, government should hasten the plan to establish 680 agricultural centers across the country as it is being proposed “,ECCIMA advised.