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LCCI, NACCIMA urge FG to address crude oil theft, rising debt profile

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 An Organised Private Sector OPS stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to address crude oil theft and other macroeconomic fundamentals to navigate the Nigerian economy to the path of growth They gave the advice at the third quarter council meeting of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry LCCI and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture NACCIMA on Wednesday in Lagos Dr Michael Olawale Cole President LCCI said the event was crucial to review major economic developments and communicate the chambers position to the wider business community and the government for a thriving private sector The LCCI president said the menace of oil theft had become a national disaster and a critical threat to the nation s revenue base According to him Nigeria is losing crude oil at the level of about 91 per cent of output as the country lost 3 2 billion dollars in crude oil theft between January 2021 and February 2022 The twins factor of fuel subsidy payments and crude oil theft have combined to deny Nigeria the gains of the high crude oil price on the international market he said Olawale Cole said that the country s total public debt stock rose from N39 56 trillion in December 2021 to N41 60 trillion about 100 07 billion by the end of the second quarter of 2022 as revealed by the Debt Management Office DMO He added that Nigeria s debt to Gross Domestic Product GDP ratio currently stood at 23 27 per cent against 22 43 per cent on Dec 31 2021 The LCCI president said the development had already resulted in concerns that most if not all of the assumptions in the Medium Term Expenditure framework MTEF 2023 2025 would be missed This he explained was as the country continued to experience unprecedented levels of disruptions to supply chains and agricultural production In the face of rising debt servicing costs accompanied by a dwindling revenue the provision of critical infrastructure and amenities like healthcare services education power roads and security will be hard hit as funding shrinks he said Olawale Cole also urged monetary authorities to liberalise the foreign exchange market by unifying the multiple rates and ensure that rates were market driven to enhance stability liquidity and transparency in the foreign exchange market The unification is expected to improve our currency management framework given that the multiple exchange rate systems have continued to create uncertainties and sources of arbitrage he said The LCCI president also appealed to the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU to come to an agreement as soon as possible to end the ongoing industrial action We cannot look to half baked graduates to build a prosperous economy Nigeria must begin to pay more attention to improving its latest Human Development Index HDI which stood at 161 out of 189 countries he said Olawale Cole expressed concern about the worsening insecurity profile of the country saying that it posed an apparent threat to the forthcoming general elections in 2023 and by extension a threat to democratic governance He said that in the absence of peace and security it would be challenging to hold credible free and fair elections that would reflect the choices of the electorate in choosing those that should lead them We need to address the root causes of youths unemployment drug abuse uncontrolled small arms and unmanned borders through which foreigners infiltrate our territories We also need to boost security enforcement through frequent recruitments into the security agencies and well supported with modern weaponry and deployment of warfare technology Community policing and intelligence gathering need to be officially endorsed and systematically managed he said In his remarks Ude Udeagbala President NACCIMA lauded the Lagos State Government for its efforts in supporting the private sector and accommodating its needs under the THEMES agenda Udeagbala urged members of the private sector to engage politicians and political parties in discourse to know their plans for the private sector as the electioneering year approached This would further help convey our plights to the incoming governments he said The Secretary to the Lagos State Government Mrs Folasade Jaji said the state would continue to leverage recommendations from the private sector to discern challenges affecting it Jaji represented by Mrs Olabisi Shonibare Director Political Affairs charged the sector to engage best practices in trade investments and commerce to solidify the state as the best investment destination On our parts we would continue to promote more friendly environment for enterprises and provide workable solution to all the challenges she said www nannews ng NewsSourceCredit NAN
LCCI, NACCIMA urge FG to address crude oil theft, rising debt profile

Organised Private Sector

An Organised Private Sector ((OPS) stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to address crude oil theft and other macroeconomic fundamentals to navigate the Nigerian economy to the path of growth.

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Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry

They gave the advice at the third quarter council meeting of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) on Wednesday in Lagos.

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Michael Olawale-Cole

Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, President, LCCI, said the event was crucial to review major economic developments and communicate the chambers’ position to the wider business community and the government for a thriving private sector.

latest nigerian news online

The LCCI president said the menace of oil theft had become a national disaster and a critical threat to the nation’s revenue base.

According to him, Nigeria is losing crude oil at the level of about 91 per cent of output, as the country lost 3.2 billion dollars in crude oil theft between January 2021 and February 2022.
“The twins factor of fuel subsidy payments and crude oil theft have combined to deny Nigeria the gains of the high crude oil price on the international market,” he said.

Debt Management Office

Olawale-Cole said that the country’s total public debt stock rose from N39.56 trillion in December 2021 to N41.60 trillion (about $100.07 billion) by the end of the second quarter of 2022, as revealed by the Debt Management Office (DMO).

Gross Domestic Product

He added that Nigeria’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio currently stood at 23.27 per cent against 22.43 per cent on Dec. 31, 2021.

Medium-Term Expenditure

The LCCI president said the development had already resulted in concerns that most, if not all, of the assumptions in the Medium-Term Expenditure framework (MTEF) 2023-2025 would be missed.

This, he explained, was as the country continued to experience unprecedented levels of disruptions to supply chains and agricultural production.

“In the face of rising debt servicing costs accompanied by a dwindling revenue, the provision of critical infrastructure and amenities like healthcare services, education, power, roads and security will be hard hit as funding shrinks,” he said.

Olawale-Cole also urged monetary authorities to liberalise the foreign exchange market by unifying the multiple rates and ensure that rates were market-driven to enhance stability, liquidity and transparency in the foreign exchange market.

“The unification is expected to improve our currency management framework, given that the multiple exchange rate systems have continued to create uncertainties and sources of arbitrage,” he said.

Federal Government

The LCCI president also appealed to the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to come to an agreement as soon as possible to end the ongoing industrial action.

“We cannot look to half-baked graduates to build a prosperous economy.

Human Development Index

“Nigeria must begin to pay more attention to improving its latest Human Development Index (HDI) which stood at 161 out of 189 countries,” he said.

Olawale-Cole expressed concern about the worsening insecurity profile of the country, saying that it posed an apparent threat to the forthcoming general elections in 2023 and, by extension, a threat to democratic governance.

He said that in the absence of peace and security, it would be challenging to hold credible, free and fair elections that would reflect the choices of the electorate in choosing those that should lead them.

“We need to address the root causes of youths unemployment, drug abuse, uncontrolled small arms and unmanned borders through which foreigners infiltrate our territories.

“We also need to boost security enforcement through frequent recruitments into the security agencies and well supported with modern weaponry and deployment of warfare technology.

“Community policing and intelligence gathering need to be officially endorsed and systematically managed,” he said.

Ude Udeagbala

In his remarks, Ude Udeagbala, President, NACCIMA, lauded the Lagos State Government for its efforts in supporting the private sector and accommodating its needs under the THEMES agenda.

Udeagbala urged members of the private sector to engage politicians and political parties in discourse to know their plans for the private sector, as the electioneering year approached.

“This would further help convey our plights to the incoming governments,” he said.

Lagos State Government

The Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs Folasade Jaji, said the state would continue to leverage recommendations from the private sector to discern challenges affecting it.

Olabisi Shonibare

Jaji, represented by Mrs Olabisi Shonibare, Director, Political Affairs, charged the sector to engage best practices in trade, investments and commerce to solidify the state as the best investment destination.

“On our parts, we would continue to promote more friendly environment for enterprises and provide workable solution to all the challenges,” she said.

(www.

nannews.

ng)

NewsSourceCredit: NAN

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