Nigerian Association of Chambers  of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has said the economy has performed below expectations.

It blamed the parlous state of the economy on the absence of policy thrust of the current administration.

Its President,  Chief Bassey Edem who spoke yesterday in Lagos to reporters on the  State of the Economy, urged the government to show leadership in  policy direction to drive the economy.

He said: [quote_box_center]“While we appreciate the enormity of the task inherited by the new administration and its effort in ensuring that the economy is re-engineered to meet up with the yearnings of the business community, it is important to note that what an average Nigerian desire at the moment is for the ‘Change’ they voted for to be translated into significant positive impact on the real sector and the economy in general.”[/quote_box_center]

On macro-economic indicators, Edem lamented the decline of the external reserves  to $30.63 billion from $31.20 billion while interest rate remained at double digit of between 17 per cent and 28 per cent as against a single digit rate expected by business operators.

He said this remains a major challenge to the business community and predicted that it may continue as long as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) retains its policies.

He advised government to revisit and also consider the need to bring down the rate to a single digit, which will automatically force down the lending rates.

According to him, capacity utilisation in the real sector continued to hover around 45 per cent showing huge unutilised capacities. However, he maintained the real sector is still grappling with infrastructure deficit such as insufficient power and energy supply that could make it assume its position as the engine of economic growth.

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