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‘Prolonged constitution of cabinet, insecurity fuelling economic uncertainty, stalling investments’

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President, LCCI, Babatunde Ruwase

Prolonged delay in having a cabinet in place is fuelling economic uncertainty and may undermine the confidence of investors, even as increasing wave of insecurity continues to stall new investments, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has said.
   
Besides, the Chamber urged the Buhari administration to appoint a Minister of Petroleum in his new cabinet, to oversee and coordinate the activities of the petroleum industry and not just a minister of state for petroleum.  
   
In its review of the economy, the Chamber, through its President, Babatubde Ruwase, noted that timely constitution of the federal cabinet is imperative for the expeditious implementation of government’s programmes.  
   
The LCCI implored swift action from the Buhari in ensuring that the nation does not have a reoccurrence of what happened in 2015.
   
Ruwase also expressed concern about the increasing wave of insecurity in Nigeria, especially as regards kidnapping, herdsmen attacks on communities, ethnic and religious clashes, among others.
   
According to him, it is particularly worrisome that these criminal activities are not abating. 
While acknowledging that the government and security agencies are making efforts to curtail the tide, the LCCI said it was pertinent that the agencies be more strategic in their approach so that their efforts could yield the required results.
     
“It is important to stress that this wave of insecurity is doing a lot of damage to the image of the country and the economy, as prospective investors may become discouraged to invest in the economy while local businesses continue to groan under the uncertainty created by continued insecurity in the land,” he added.
     
On inflation, Ruwase advised that the government shows more commitment in measures aimed at stabilising food prices through improved food production, improved postharvest management and transportation to reduce the volatility in food prices.
     
“Unfortunately, the drop in the budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector from 2.23% in 2018 to 1.56% in 2019, does not reflect the desired government’s commitment to improving the country’s food situation,” he added.

While lauding the 5-year plan of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Chamber argued that the role of the CBN is in using monetary policies to stimulate economic growth, noting that some of the planned targets are fiscal in nature. 

“It will therefore require that a framework for collaboration with the major economic ministries and other stakeholders be put in place to be able to fully actualise what the CBN sets out to accomplish in the next five years,” the LCCI added.


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