‘Why government should address inconsistencies in fiscal policies in 2017’
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has hinged its cautious optimism on real sector and economic recovery next year on the ability of the Federal Government to address fiscal policy inconsistencies that prevailed in 2016.
Indeed, the members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) also called for a review of the composition of the economic team to address policy formulation concerns in order to take the nation’s economy out
of the woods.
The National President, NACCIMA, Dr. Bassey Edem, during a press briefing on the review of the state of the economy and the association’s perspective on some trending socio-economic issues, stressed that: “It is now time for the Federal Government to reconstitute the economic team. The economic team is made up of only the public sector, but the Nigerian economy is not for the government alone, but for Nigeria as a whole.
“The private sector must be carried along in policy formulation.
Engaging the private sector is different from being involved in the policy formulation process. One or two members of the private sector must be injected in the economic team so whenever economic policies will be set, they will tell the economic team where it pinches them.
We believe if this is done, it will help us not to repeat the errors of 2016.”
According to him, the past six months has remained bleak, but however stated that there are a few encouraging signs with the foreign reserves increasing steadily since mid-October according to the 30-day moving average report of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He added that year-on-year inflation stands at 18.48 per cent while global price of crude oil increased marginally with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) daily basket price currently at $51.99.
On the macro-economic indicators, he said the flexible exchange rate policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has provided mixed results whereas the official market rate of the naira to the U.S dollar stands at N305 while the parallel market rate hovers between N450 and N482. The NACCIMA boss expressing the need to control the rate of inflation, restated that a single digit interest rate is critical to stimulating the real sector of the economy and enhancing access to finance to increase economic activity in the country.
“We acknowledge the work of Federal Government in ensuring that special intervention funds are available to business operators at single-digit rates.