Accelerate infrastructure projects to support economic activities, LCCI urges FG

Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the Federal government to accelerate infrastructure projects to support economic activities and reduce logistics costs across the country.

The Director General of LCCI, Dr Chinyere Almona, who made this call while reviewing President Tinubu one year administration said there is need for the government to Invest in non-oil sectors to reduce dependency on oil revenues and build economic resilience.

She said enhancing coordination between fiscal and monetary policies will help to control inflation better.

Other things that the government needs to do is Implement targeted programs to reduce youth unemployment by supporting SMEs as well as continue tax reforms and improve compliance to increase government revenue.

She further said that the upward review of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) has made borrowing costlier and constrained new credit for productive activities. 

This according to her has continued to weaken our production base and impede new job creation in the economy. 

“We have consistently advised that rate hikes will not curb inflation without a corresponding fiscal intervention targeted at boosting agricultural production and industrial manufacturing. We would continue to advocate concessionary interventions for SMEs in Nigeria in the face of shrinking credit to the private sector,” she added

She however, said that in the first year of President Tinubu’s Administration, the agriculture sector was impacted mainly by insecurity, fuel subsidy removal, and consistent exchange rate depreciation, which increased the cost of fertilizer and other input costs.

The situation affected the growth of agricultural sector, especially in respect contributing to GDP, adding that in the first quarter of 2024, the sector grew by 0.18 per cent compared to 2.10 per cent and 1.30 per cent  in fourth quarter  and third quarter of 2023, respectively, implying  a downward trend in the sector’s output.

 To address low agricultural output, she said  the government needs to address the country’s high level of insecurity and the exchange rate crisis. In addition, the government must incentivize agricultural processing and invest in vital infrastructure such as power and transportation.