The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has lauded President Bola Tinubu’s recent State of the Nation address, applauding his leadership and commitment to easing the short-term economic challenges faced by Nigerians due to subsidy removal and exchange rate harmonization.
Asiwaju (Dr.) Michael Olawale-Cole, the President/Chairman of Council at LCCI, issued a statement expressing appreciation for the President’s empathy and comprehensive plan to mitigate the cost of living pressures for citizens.
President Tinubu’s address outlined a palliative plan aimed at supporting businesses, the working class, and vulnerable groups while curbing rising inflation and ensuring exchange rate stability.
The LCCI particularly commended the allocation of a 500 billion naira ($652 million) package for stimulating the economy through measures like transport cost reduction, manufacturing support, and conditional grants to small businesses.
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The Chamber endorsed the focus on investing in the manufacturing sector, urging consideration of more enterprises to significantly impact the economy positively.
Additionally, the LCCI emphasized the need for close monitoring of loan facilities offered to scalable enterprises at 9% per annum to ensure the eventual cost of funds remains aligned with this rate, regardless of other fees and charges.
Regarding transportation, the LCCI welcomed plans to deploy compressed natural gas (CNG)-fueled buses in all states, facilitating affordable transportation and reducing business costs.
However, the Chamber expressed concerns about the role of State and Local governments in the implementation of palliative strategies, urging transparency and proper monitoring to ensure effective utilization of resources.
While commending the government’s policy initiatives, the LCCI urged decisive action to reduce the high cost of governance across all tiers.
The Chamber called on the government to address issues of insecurity, as it profoundly impacts the nation’s prosperity and the successful implementation of economic strategies.
The LCCI underscored the importance of tackling oil theft and urged the government to identify and prosecute those responsible, while emphasizing the need for transparency, accountability, and integrity in the fuel subsidy regime.
As Nigerians face the challenges of economic reform, the LCCI urged patience and collaboration in working towards the country’s brighter future. The Chamber stressed the need for concerted efforts and strategic alignment of national goals to achieve meaningful change.