State of Economy: Increase Partnership with Private Sector, ACCI Urges Govts
Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called on the Federal Government to significantly adjust its policy on business and financial support for the private sector during the ongoing pandemic to halt the declining state of the economy.
The Chamber attributed sluggish growth to many factors , citing reluctance of government to relate and patronize established business and private sector organisations like the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the disbursement of several billions of naira for pandemic palliative.
The Chamber was reacting to the second quarter report of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics which disclosed that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product contracted by – 6.10 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2020, ending the three-year trend of low but positive real growth rates recorded since the 2016/17 recession. The decline was attributed to significantly lower levels of both domestic and international economic activity during the quarter, which resulted from nationwide shutdown efforts aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chamber noted that while the pandemic slowed down economic growth, its impact was exacerbated by the low patronage of established businesses which are members of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and other credible business associations spread across the 36 states of the federation, positing that Small and Medium Scale businesses who are members of the chambers nationwide suffered low patronage in the many financial support extended to the private sector during the pandemic.
“We note the report of the NBS on the poor state of the economy with concern. We are particularly touched by the devastating effects of inflation and rising unemployment on the purchasing powers of Nigerians. The negative impact on our members are devastating as factories are closing or scaling down to minimal production due to low sale, high material cost and negative complications within the economy.
“The report is a wake up call on the administration to review current policies and engage genuine businesses in the implementation of sectoral support. Our members are mostly SMEs and we regret to note that support for them are almost non-existent. What happen here in Abuja Chamber is virtually the same scenario all over the 36 states where the Chambers of Commerce are sidelined in the disbursement of palliative and support.
“We urge government to relate closely with the private sector through their identified organisations. Disbursing loans and other support through chambers of commerce create business sustainability and loan security which subsequently serves to boost the productive capacity of the economy. It is time the Central Bank of Nigeria and other government establishments adopt the Chambers of Commerce as allies and key partners in the ongoing efforts to revive the economy”, the statement concluded.
Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, SAN President
Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry