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Labour, industrialists, others doubt ability of FG to achieve 7% economic growth target

…Nation’s economic growth still too slow —Udoma

By Udeme Akpan & Godwin Oritse

LAGOS—Industrialists, labour and others have doubted the ability of the Federal Government to achieve its seven per cent economic growth rate by 2020 as a result of the various problems that stare the nation in the face as well as the limited time available to tackle them.

Their reactions came against the backdrop of claims by Minister of Budget and Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, that the country’s economic growth was too slow.

Speaking in a telephone interview with Vanguard, yesterday, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf, disclosed that Nigeria’s economic growth was moving at a very slow rate because of many problems.

Labour

He said that: ‘’The nation’s population is currently growing at about three per cent, leaving Gross Domestic Product, GDP lagging behind at lesser rate.

‘’There is also limited investment in many sectors because of issues that have to do with policies, funding and insecurity among others. It is very glaring that people find it difficult to invest even in agriculture because of herdsmen attacks.”

Managing Director, Cowry Assets Management Limited, Mr. Johnson  Chukwu said: “The time may be limited, considering that active politics has started in Nigeria. But all we need is good politics to stimulate growth.

‘’If that happens, as it happened in the case of telecoms sector, then Nigeria can experience very rapid growth.”

Also, Mr. Lucky Amiwero, National President of the National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, said the economic growth is slow because it lacks focus.

He said: “The economy has no direction, a lot of indices that are supposed to grow the economy are currently lacking, and the economy has no coordination, no central coordination of the economy.”

Nation’s economic growth still too slow —Udoma

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, has said the rate of economic growth in Nigeria was still too slow.

Speaking with journalists on the sidelines of the ongoing spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and World Bank, the minister said more work needed to be done to accelerate growth.

He said: “Our target is seven percent by 2020 that will make me comfortable, above seven percent will make me even much more comfortable. And that is why we are working so hard.

“Even though we are working so hard, the rate of growth is still too slow. So we will like it to pick up and that is why there is a need to work hard.

“They say the result for good result is more hard work and so we are poised to continue to focus on the various measures on the ERGP.”

According to Udoma, the problem of Nigeria is revenue, not debt hence the need to improve revenue generation.

He added: “Our problem is not a debt problem, our problem is a revenue problem and so we are focused on generating much more revenues.”

“As you are aware, we have the tax amnesty to try and increase the tax revenues being generated, we are looking at some of our excise duties and so the focus is to generate more revenues.”

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