The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the government and the Central Bank of Nigeria to extend the support shown to agriculture and manufacturing to the service sector of the economy.
Speaking during a media briefing on the state of the economy recently, the President, LCCI, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, said that there was a need for the CBN to have a broader view of the economy as sectors other than the real sector also had tremendous impact on the economy and complement the real sector.
He pointed out that the service sector contributed over 55 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product and had the capacity to contribute more if the desired support was provided.
He said, “The sector complements productivity and performance in the real sector. For instance, logistics, transportation, Information and Communications Technology, construction, distributive trade, manpower development, and energy sectors are critical to the value chain development of manufacturing, agriculture and solid minerals.
“There should be a holistic view of the economy. The service sector currently accounts for 55 per cent of the nation’s GDP and 45 per cent of employment. There is therefore, a need for policy makers to change their perception of sectors outside of the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. They require no less support.”
Meanwhile, the LCCI president has commended the CBN for the move to create a single-digit interest rate window through issuance of commercial papers by the large corporations in the real sector, saying that it was gratifying that the window also offered long term facility of up to seven years tenure.
He said, “This is salutary and we commend the CBN for the bold move. We also commend the decision to introduce a differential dynamic cash reserves requirements regime to direct long-term bank credit at nine per cent, with a minimum tenure of seven years and two years moratorium to employment elastic sectors of the economy.