By Naomi Uzor
THE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry(LCCI) recently, in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to tackle the lingering power generation, supply and distribution nightmare which has bedevilled the growth and development of the economy.
The President of the LCCI, Asiwaju Solomon Onafowokan, made the call on behalf of the Chamber when he led members of the executive to pay a courtesy visit on Vice President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
According to him, the power sector cannot be overstated and that the chambers appreciate the efforts being made to achieve the 6000mw by the end of the year and are also conscious of the challenges especially in the areas of gas availability
â€œWe would, however, reiterate that the power situation is still a nightmare for investors in all sectors.Â But the situation is worse for those in manufacturing, we pray and hope for a rapid transformation of the sector through the ongoing reform in the power sectorâ€ he said.
Furthermore, he said that the Chambers appreciates the on-going reform under the new leadership of the CBN.
â€œWe commend the sanitization of the banking system and the restoration of the integrity of bank balance sheets.Â We are aware that there have been issues about the abuse of the credit process as well as the quality of corporate governance, all of which could undermine the safety and security of depositorsâ€™ funds.
â€œHowever, as entrepreneurs, we are concerned over the sweeping criminalization of indebtedness to banks.Â There are cases of loans that have been restructured and rescheduled due to recent shocks in the economic environment yet such investors were seriously embarrassed by both the CBN and the EFCCâ€ he stated.
He commended the recent adoption of the common external tariff which is also in line with the economic integration agenda of ECOWAS, adding that the chambers specific concerns are with regard to frequent changes in tariff which has caused serious dislocations for investments, particularly, in the real sector.
Stability of tariff regimes is very important in building investorsâ€™ confidence.Â A typical tariff book has a life span of seven (7) years.Â The essence is to ensure stability and make investment planning easier, Tariff policy formulation and amendments should be done in full consultation with the private sector.
This is necessary for investors to make proper adjustments in their investment planning, faking and counterfeiting of Nigerian products has become very alarming.
Many good Nigerian brands ranging from textiles to consumer products are now being regularly faked and imported from Asia, particularly, China.
This is creating a lot of problems for many manufacturers. He urged for increased vigilance by SON and NAFDAC at our borders to curb this practice.