By Naomi Uzor
Lagos—The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to adopt drastic economic measures to help the country cushion the effect of the falling crude oil price.
The LCCI, in a statement by its President, Alhaji Remi Bello, commended the Federal Government for the fiscal and monetary policy measures taken so far, to stabilise the macroeconomic conditions and minimise dislocations, adding however, that additional measures needs to be taken.
According to him, there are several budget heads that need to be further scrutinized to ensure cost effectiveness and better transparency in the management of public finance, such as, consolidated revenue fund charges, service wide votes and presidential amnesty programmes.
Others, he added, are capital supplementation, debt service, refreshments and meals, foodstuffs and catering, honorarium and sitting allowance, welfare packages and repairs and maintenance
“All these budget heads have substantial amounts voted for them in the budget annually. Some of the provisions do not reflect the desired prudence in the management of public funds. Huge savings will be made if a proper scrutiny of these budget heads is made,” he explained.
Bello noted that the changing economic circumstances presents challenges and opportunities, especially as there will be losers and winners, adding that, in the current economic conditions, some segments of the economy will profit.
He said, “It is expected that fuel imports cost will drop. This should reduce the pressure of fuel subsidy payment on government. It is also expected that cost of diesel imports would reduce, depending on the degree of impact of the exchange rate on the imports. “Nigeria is one of the biggest destinations for Diaspora remittances in the world. In 2013 total remittances was $20.7 billion. As at first half of 2014 the sum of $10.4 billion had been remitted.’’