Nigerians’ hope of a better economic outlook in 2020 may not be realised unless some lingering challenges are addressed and the anxieties about more taxes, unfavorable government policies and higher inflation are doused, some members of the organised private sector have stated. The manufacturers and operators in the services sector expressed worry that the familiar challenges of inadequate electricity supply and high cost of self-generated energy, as well as multiple taxation and overregulation, remain rife in the business space.
Nigeria’s improvement on the ease of doing business ranking notwithstanding, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), in its 2020 outlook, stated that the nation would witness a high cost of doing business, as the challenge of infrastructure deficit lingers and the consumer’s purchasing power weakens.
According to the chamber, the realities on ground contradict the outcome of the ranking as recent policy measures and lingering challenges of power supply, inefficient road and railway system, multiplicity of taxes as well as other issues continue to affect the nation’s potential.In terms of growth, the chamber aligned with the position of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that growth would hover at 2.1 percent and 2.5 percent, which is below the population growth rate of some three percent, implying that the per capita income would contract further, making more Nigerians poorer.
“The potential for growth of the Nigerian economy is immense, but we should not remain a nation of potential. In order to unlock this huge potential, we need to put in place appropriate policies, regulations and institutions. Investment is critical to the growth of any economy: this is even more so in an economy that is struggling with revenue and other resources.
“Growth in private investment will boost employment, impact on revenue, promote social stability and enhance the welfare of citizens. It is thus very fundamental that we create an enabling environment for investors (domestic and foreign) to create wealth and jobs for the country. There is also a need to deepen the consultative process between the policy makers and the private sector,” the report said.On budget implementation, the LCCI urged the government to create a monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance, adding that progress reports about the budget performance should be released quarterly.To the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), local manufacturers’ confidence in the economy remains challenged by the parlous state of infrastructure and poor implementation of policies, especially the patronage law.
According to the manufacturers, the formulation of laudable policies has never been an issue for Nigeria but evidence has shown that poor implementation has been the challenge in the country.