The Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Muda Yusuf, has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to relax the tight monetary policy regime in the country in order to spur domestic investments and consumer’s spending.
Yusuf, who spoke in an interview, said this is critical at this time in order to restore investors’ confidence, enhance forex inflow and boost Foreign Direct Investments to reduce uncertainty in the economy.
“We are not able to unlock our potentials because of policy inconsistencies. This must be looked into and also, a framework for liquidity of forex market should be urgently put in place,” he said.
The LCCI boss, who advised that the government should embark on reform in the downstream sector to avoid leakages, said it was in order to enable sustainability in the power, agriculture, solid minerals and the oil and gas sector.
He, however, lamented that Nigeria was yet to unlock her potentials because of policy inconsistencies.
“What is paramount here is the impact on the cost of doing business, productivity of the investors, competitiveness of firms and the sustainability of investments in the country,” he said.
On the diversification of the economy, he said the imperative of economic diversification cannot be over-emphasised.
“Although the oil price is picking up, the development has profound implications for the fiscal viability of government at all levels.
“We need to urgently improve the capacity of the Nigerian economy to develop the non-oil sector through the creation of an enabling environment for investors in those sectors. The key is to improve the productivity and competitiveness of these sectors. We need to tackle issues of cost of doing business; better investment in infrastructure, funding issues, patronage of made in Nigeria products, policies that are investment friendly, strengthening of regulatory institutions, among others,” he said.
Yusuf said there is need to urgently improve access to small holder farmers to market for agricultural sector productivity. Government should put in place an effective and sustainable policy of guaranteed minimum price for agricultural products. We need to improve the linkage between agricultural sector and the industrial sector. Storage capacity needs to improve to minimize post-harvest loses.
According to the LCCI boss, for Nigeria to sustain the present economic recovery and achieve the growth forecast, it must adhere to aggressive investment in infrastructure to boost productivity in the economy, reduction in multiplicity of exchange rates, alignment of procurement policies at all levels of government to support domestic investment; investment policy that would protect domestic investors; tax policy that is investment friendly; and interest rate policy that is investment friendly.