The Federal Government has been urged to continue its interventions in crucial economic areas if the nation is to avoid a recession in 2023, according to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In a statement on the nation’s economic prognosis for 2023 that was made accessible to Vanguard, the director general of the LCCI, Dr. Chinyere Almona, made the request and added that there was a need for careful monitoring and evaluation of the budget allocations.
Almona said: “The Federal Government needs to sustain its targeted interventions in selected critical sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, export infrastructure, tackling insecurity, and free more money from subsidy payments.
“It is very imperative that we need sound monitoring and evaluation over the budget allocations to capital projects and defence spending to respectively tackle infrastructural deficit and the fight against insurgency.
“We urge the government to tackle oil theft to earn more foreign exchange, borrow from cheaper sources to reduce the burden of debt servicing, and pave the way for the removal of the fuel subsidy by the incoming government.”
She added that in order to empower the private sector to create jobs and increase tax income for the government, the government must stop revenue leaks, save costs, and do all three.
The rising inflation rate, stringent monetary policies, an unstable currency, a burdensome debt load, currency management, disruptions in the food supply, exchange rate volatility, and election spending, according to the LCCI DG, are the fundamental factors that may continue to drive Nigeria’s key economic indicators.
Almona highlighted that the Central Bank of Nigeria implemented a tightening monetary policy to stabilize prices while reviewing monetary policy developments in 2022. He also mentioned that a further hike in MPC rates is anticipated in January.
“The rates rose from 11.5% in January and peaked at 16.5% in November 2022. This is expected to rise further during the MPC meeting in January to 17% to curb the persistent inflation and prevent capital flight.
“The Chamber had earlier recommended that rate hikes alone would not curb inflation. In 2023, we need fiscal interventions to support strategic sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, transport logistics, and more allocation of forex to productive sectors,” she stated.