NECA urges passage of new automotive policy bill
Seeks Lagos partnership to attract capital for development
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), has called on the National Assembly to expedite legislative action on the passage of the new Automotive Policy Bill to strengthen policy stability.
While frowning at the current situation of the economy with regards to the country becoming a “dumping ground” for all types of finished and semi-finished products, the employers’ body noted it was at the detriment of the local manufacturing companies and militates against the growth of the real sector and development of the nation.
Director-General of NECA, Timothy Olawale, hinted that the collapse of the tyre industry was as a result of direct consequence of policy somersault of the Federal Government in 2006, by significantly reducing import tariff that was meant to protect the local tyre manufacturing industry from huge infrastructure deficiency.
This, Olawale said, instantly made local tyre manufacture unprofitable and the only two tyre plants in the country that had operated since 1963 by Dunlop and Michelin had to shut down in 2008 and 2006, respectively.
According to him, the government is expected to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and contribute to nation building, through job and wealth creation, reduction in the unemployment rate, thereby eliminating social vices and insecurity among others.He called for caution in Nigeria’s signing of Trade Agreements that could make the economy a “dumping ground” and importing unemployment.
He urged local manufacturers to think outside of their comfort zones, and be prepared to compete with other players in the market by scaling for competitiveness.
Olawale called on the government to strengthen the real sector through reduction in the numbers and rates of taxes imposed on businesses, adding that Nigeria should avoid a situation that will force companies to reduce staff strength, or close shop or relocate outside the country.
Meanwhile, following the Lagos State Government 2020 budget, NECA has called for focused implementation and more Organised Private Sector (OPS) participation.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had presented N1.168 trillion 2020 Appropriation Bill to the State House of Assembly, tagged, ‘Budget of Awakening’He affirmed that the private sector is willing to partner and collaborate with the current administration in fostering a better development of the state, and creating an enabling environment for rapid industrial and human capital development.
In the face of dwindling revenue, Olaleye said it is imperative for the Government to curb wastes and leakages, and also collaborate with the OPS to institutionalise a budget-performance review and feedback mechanism.He said it will assist the government in effective monitoring of the implementation of the budget.
Olawale, in his assessment of the Bill, highlighted a massive leap from the 2019 Budget, aimed at addressing the continuous infrastructural collapse and lag in the education and health sectors.He commended the governor for committing to infrastructural development, healthcare and education, as “these are foundation for economic development.”He, however, called for strategic collaboration with the OPS to help in attracting private capital necessary for accelerated development.
“We applaud the provisions of N7.1 billion for industrial hubs, graduate internship programmes, and virtual markets for artisans in support for micro, small and medium enterprises. This would enable the private sector continue to serve as the engine for economic growth,” Olawale said.
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