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Business News of Monday, 8 August 2022

Source: www.punchng.com

Govt should prioritise forex allocation to manufacturers – NECA

The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association has said the allocation of available forex to manufacturing and other productive sectors of the economy should be given priority as forex scarcity persists.

The Director-General, NECA, Mr Wale Oyerinde, while speaking on the state of the economy in Lagos recently, called for a holistic and multi-pronged approach towards resolving the challenges faced by the nation.

He said in a statement that the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency should encourage the development of modular refineries as a precursor to total subsidy removal.

Oyerinde said, “In the medium term, the Federal Government should, as a matter of urgency, fix the four national refineries and encourage the development of modular ones as a precursor to total removal of fuel subsidy.

“With over N5tn budgeted for subsidy payment in 2022, an amount larger than the budget for education and agriculture, this is unrealistic and unsustainable.

“Economic interventions aimed at improving living standards (to stimulate consumption) and enterprise sustainability (to promote job creation) should be implemented. While forex scarcity persists, allocation of the available forex to manufacturing and other productive sectors of the economy should be given priority.”

Oyerinde said this was better time for the government to deepen its engagement with the Organised Private Sector, adding that the government’s efforts to salvage the economy was commendable.

He said, “The nation is currently faced with multiple challenges. With dire combination of spiraling inflation, rising energy cost (aviation fuel, diesel, etc.), scarcity of forex, dwindling value of the naira, an almost comatose aviation sector, stuttering education system, rising debt, depleting foreign reserve and rising fuel subsidy expenses among others, which threatens to lay bare the country’s economy.

“There is no better time for the government to reappraise current economic policies and deepen its engagement with the Organized Private Sector. While Government’s effort to salvage the economy is commendable, there is, however, need for a more holistic approach to resuscitate the stuttering economy.”