By Naomi Uzor
Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, yesterday, painted a gloomy picture of Nigeria’s investment drive, saying business leaders are reluctant about expanding their investment over the next few months.
In a statement, the LCCI said business leaders are largely pessimistic about the state of the economy following the drop of the aggregate Business Confidence Index, BCI from 19.4 per cent it posted in the second quarter 2014 to 14.3 per cent.
According to the chamber’s report: “The key factors that mostly depressed the confidence level of business leaders at this time are: security challenges across the country, political transition/electioneering activities and associated risks; cargo clearing issues and access to and from the nation’s foremost ports – Apapa and Tin Can; policy uncertainties and regulatory concerns; and worsening public power supply.”
On the Sectoral BCI, all the sectors reported positive business confidence levels in third quarter, Q3-2014.
”Interestingly, the manufacturing sector posted a positive confidence level of four per cent for the second time over the last seven quarters.
This sector has consistently remained at the bottom of BCI league table by steadily recording negative confidence levels.
“Medium and small manufacturing enterprises were the most hit by the lingering challenges constraining productive activities in the country.
“The most disturbing factor for manufacturers includes: power supply challenges, logistics challenges, the influx of imported and substandard products, preference for imported goods by Nigerians, poor access to credit, high cost of doing business, infrastructure deficiency and inhibitive activities of government regulatory/monitoring agencies.”
According to the report from LCCI, “the optimism among players in the agricultural sector which was relatively strong in first and second quarters is beginning to moderate. This is a pointer that operators’ expectation in the agricultural sector is beginning to wane.”
The BCI Q3-2014 survey confirmed an increasing level of uncertainty among the private sector players due to rising electioneering activities and the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
On uncertainties in the business environment sectors, the report disclosed that the oil and gas industry were mostly disturbed by the uncertainty surrounding delayed passage of the PIB coupled with the emerging developments in the global oil and gas market.
It also said the long delay of FG’s 2014 budget, influx and rising patronage of offshore advisers and business consultants in the country were mostly the concern of players in the professional business services sector.