LCCI Proposes Fiscal, Monetary Interventions To Boost Food Production

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BY CHINYERE OBIORA, LAGOS – The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) says the implementation of targeted fiscal and monetary interventions will boost food production, lower the cost of doing business, and overhaul transport infrastructure in the country.

The Director General of LCCI, Dr Chinyere Almona said such interventions would not only increase investment in innovative security architecture driven by technology but also create a more enabling environment for the power, as well as oil and gas sectors, while boosting non-oil exports.

In a statement titled “Curbing Inflation and Rate Hikes”, Dr Almona said the Chamber’s recommendation is for the CBN to apply an import duty exchange rate lower than the official rate at a fixed rate for a determined period.

According to her, such an arrangement is expected to help businesses plan better and serve as a palliative that benefits a high proportion of the populace.

She said the ongoing debate on a new minimum wage for Nigerian public workers is becoming a critical variable in the discourse about the next levels of government recurrent spending that may further fuel inflationary pressures into the second half of the year.

The LCCI boss further stated that with the two sides still debating the minimum wage issue, the Government should begin planning for the massive commitment of resources to implement the new minimum wage when the negotiations are finally over.

For her, current happenings demand reducing the cost of governance, eliminating duplicate functions in government agencies through mergers, and investing more in the deployment of technology to automate some government processes.

Furthermore, Dr Almona said; “Beyond the instrument of rate hikes to curb inflation, economic managers should consider non-cash interventions to reflate the economy without necessarily increasing the currency in circulation. If this tightness continues, we should not expect to achieve our growth projection of about 3.37 percent this year.

“The government should seek more options to support industrial productivity, fight insecurity, invest more in infrastructure like power and transportation, deploy more technology for automation to ease the cost of doing business, and give a boost to non-oil exports to increase our foreign exchange earnings.

“By adopting these comprehensive measures, we can effectively curb inflation and foster a stable, resilient economy. It is essential to act swiftly and decisively, drawing on successful examples and tailoring them to our unique economic context.”

Also noting that the twin burden of high inflation and interest rates is overheating the economy and causing increased volatility and uncertainty, the LCCI Chief Executive said the private sector has once again been thrown into more profound loan repayment crises as interest rates adjust to the new monetary policy rates.

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