Government to implement margin of preference to encourage local production
• May review sale of non-performing enterprises
• Elumelu urges sale of Discos to new investors
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday disclosed a plan to implement the margin of preference policy to favour locally made products.He disclosed this at the 23rd Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NES23) in Abuja, under the theme: “Opportunities, Productivity and Employment.”
He explained that the Federal Government has started to withdraw from the domestic market, as part of measures to address the rising interest rates.Osinbajo stressed that the policy would also boost productivity and attract foreign investors to the country.
He explained that irrespective of the margin of price differential between imported goods, which are most often relative to their locally manufactured counterparts, government would henceforth go for the local variant, to encourage local producers or service providers.
He also announced that the Federal Government would soon withdraw her commercial papers to make provision for maturing obligations.He promised that government would learn to depend on interventions by the international and local development finance institutions to augment the federally generated revenue.
According to the Debt Management office, the Federal Government’s domestic debt obligations stood at N12.033 trillion as at June this year.On measures to address interest rates in the country, the vice president said the issues raised have been systematically addressed.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Heirs Holding and United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, has urged the Federal Government to review the ownership of the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOS), as well as the generation companies, GENCOS.
He said this was necessary to boost power supply and guarantee the expansion of productive activities in the real sector of the country.Elumelu said: “In as much as some existing investors might not like the idea, the Federal Government could not continue to allow the distribution companies to hold the nation down with inefficient power distribution.”
“There should be a recapitalisation of the Discos, by increasing its stake from the current 49 per cent to 51 per cent and selling the controlling stakes to new investors, as the current operators have become obstacles to the realisation of the nation’s power capacity goal.”
According to him, the people are very enterprising and want to succeed, but they need to do so in the right environment to. The government has to take actions that would ensure the adequate funding of the operations of the Discos.
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