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NECA projects tighter monetary options to curb inflation

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Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA). Photo: THEGLITTERS

While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had earlier predicted a 2.5 per cent growth and 16 per cent inflation rate by end of 2021, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) yesterday, projected a slow but positive growth closing at 2.2 per cent to 2.5 per cent during the same period.

The employers’ body also said it expects the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to introduce tighter monetary options to curtail the rising inflationary trend.

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At the 64th yearly general meeting of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), its president, Taiwo Adeniyi, who highlighted some policy recommendations and future outlook in charting new economic directions for the country’s long-term growth, stated that more effort was needed as well as the greater political will to continue in the path of steady growth.

Adeniyi stated that curtailing the rising insecurity and regional agitation would bring to the fore, positive policy direction in the next two quarters.

He said that the constrained fiscal space faced by the government, investment in critical sectors would drive economic recovery and sustain growth momentum in the medium term.

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He maintained that attracting and retaining investments into critical sectors in Nigeria would require a stable environment, where policies are fairly predictable or at least policy uncertainties are reduced to the barest minimum.

For Nigeria to become strong and robust, he emphasised the need to achieve high and steady economic growth.

The NECA boss said that Nigeria, which required more than just a resurgence of the economy, must also increase the inclusiveness of growth.

He argued that for decades, the nation had battled to create inclusive growth, with the economy on a shaky growth path since recovering from the 2016 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic that threw it back to another recession in 2020.

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He said government and relevant stakeholders must work together to address the constraints to value-chain development in high-growth and employment-elastic sectors such as manufacturing, construction, trade, health, professional services with Information Communication Technology (ICT) and renewable energy sectors as growth enablers.

In their remarks, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Director, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia and Liaison office for ECOWAS, Vanessa Phala, pledged the body’s support to employers from an economic view to addressing interventions comprehensively.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, stated that Nigeria lacked the competitiveness to excel, as it was not manufacturing at optimal capacity to create more jobs.

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On the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Wabba, stated that the rule of origin must be respected for Africa and indeed Nigeria not be turned into a dumping ground due to the large population and viability of the economy.

On challenges bordering on multiple taxations, policy inconsistency, high inflation rate and devaluation of the Naira, he called for an urgent need to address the challenges and reverse the negative trend.

He said the government needed to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, adding that Nigeria was sitting on a time bomb, considering the high level of unemployed youths.

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