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Infrastructure

NACCIMA: Insecurity, poor infrastructure worsening business operations

The Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has warned the Federal Government that endemic insecurity and poor infrastructure are worsening Nigeria’s business environment at the moment. NACCIMA, the highest regulatory body of chambers and commerces in Nigeria, said that the identified challenges were causing challenges to many firms’ operations in the country.

T he National President, NACCIMA, Chief John Udeagbala, disclosed this to New Telegraph, saying that the issues were preventing new investors from coming to start new businesses in Nigeria, even as the existing ones are concerned about the safety of their investments. Udeagbala stated: “Talk about commuting, businesses cannot deliver products and goods and so we are still suffering from this poor infrastructure and that is what is worsening Nigeria’s business environment. “We have been talking about what can be done to improve things. You could see now that government has no money.

If you look at the budget and capital expenditure, government is barely having money to pay. “The execution of capital expenditure is very bad because of fuel subsidy payment. So if we must get to the root of this problem rather than scratching from the top, it is either we fix our refineries or we will continue these stories,” he said. While speaking on the country’s fuel subsidy, Udeagbala said that NACCIMA was still supporting the removal of fuel subsidy because it is riddled with corruption and the right people are not benefitting from it.

He explained that NACCIMA had always advocated the removal of fuel subsidy and full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to attract required investments. According to him, “no investor wants to invest in an industry where they cannot even recover their cost of production. While we expect some respite from the commencement of commercial private sector refining and modular refineries, we call on the regulators to ensure a conducive business environment that supports these investments coming on stream soon.

“The twin factor of fuel subsidy payments and crude oil theft have combined to deny Nigeria the gains of the high crude oil price on the interna-tional market.” The national president of NACCIMA expressed concerns over the rising prices of petroleum products, particularly diesel and aviation fuel, the in country. Udeagbala stressed that the aviation sector issues and that of increase in the price of diesel had shown that this was not the best of time for manufacturing and aviation sectors. He said: “Our association is extremely concerned about rising prices of petroleum products; particularly diesel and aviation fuel; a hike which is very possibly an effect of the ongoing conflict in Europe and made worse by a lack of domestic production to meet demand despite the existence of refineries.

The implications for the Nigerian economy are far-reaching as the use of these products are entrenched in the production and transportation processes of both the public and private sectors. “Nevertheless, we do not expect that the shutdown of flights over the scarcity of aviation fuel and the issues of the national grid to bring the economy to a standstill in the short or medium term, rather, with rising prices we expect rising inflation, a further erosion of the purchasing power of the population, and redistri-bution of wealth that plunges more of the population below the poverty line. This is the likely result of the private sector seeking to adapt and adjust to the new realities.

“We use this opportunity to stress once again our call for incisive policy implementation within the energy sector to limit our economy’s exposure to global shocks and serve as a springboard for sustained economic growth,” he added.

 

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