NACCIMA and ACCI Urge Government to Provide Palliatives for Productive Sectors

The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry, Mines, and Agriculture, along with the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have jointly appealed to the Federal Government to implement support measures for enterprises operating within the nation’s productive sectors.

This request was formally presented during the conclusion of the 3rd Quarterly Council Meeting of NACCIMA in Abuja, which was hosted by ACCI.

Emphasizing the urgency of the matter, Dele Oye, the President of NACCIMA, underscored the significance of extending relief to pivotal economic sectors. This step is considered crucial due to the adverse repercussions of the fuel subsidy withdrawal on businesses within the affected domains.

In a response to the scenario, the National Executive Council recently endorsed an allocation of N5 billion to each of the 36 states across Nigeria, along with the Federal Capital Territory. This allocation is part of a strategy aimed at mitigating the repercussions of the fuel subsidy removal on the general populace.

Speaking on this subject during the meeting, Oye articulated, “Various industries are feeling the impact, either positively or negatively. It’s an inherent outcome of any new policy – some entities suffer while others reap benefits from its implementation.”

He further explained, “While the liberalized system is advantageous in the long run for the nation, in the short term, it’s imperative to consider those adversely affected by the changes, in order to prevent abnormal inflation due to sudden price fluctuations. Thus, it’s crucial that the government ensures the effective distribution of palliative measures to these industries.”

Oye also acknowledged the time required for businesses to adapt to the recent policy shift introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, particularly the floating of the naira. “In the short term, adjusting to new policies can be challenging for many. Businesses need time to acclimate and align their operations accordingly. Additionally, one of the contributing factors to our current challenges was the unchecked demand due to subsidized fuel prices.”

He observed, “The removal of this burden from the government has led to a surplus in government funds. While this surplus can be channeled into developmental initiatives, we must remember that some segments of society are facing short-term adversity as this adjustment is likely to elevate production costs.”

Oye recommended that providing low-interest loans would be a mechanism to alleviate the immediate effects of the subsidy removal on affected industries.

Backing Oye’s perspective, Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, President of ACCI, echoed the sentiment that the business community necessitates incentives to counterbalance the impact of both the fuel subsidy withdrawal and the devaluation of the naira.

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