Players in the Organized Private Sector, OPS, last week called on the Federal Government to improve on the country’s human development index, HDI, by granting import waivers for basic necessities in the health and educational sector as a way of growing capacity and affordability.
The stakeholders who made the request at the Vanguard Economic Discourse held at the Civic Centre Lagos, lamented that there cannot be sustainable human development and economic growth without deliberate efforts to collapse excessive cost elements attached to the importation of essential equipments required in the health sector which is driven mainly by the OPS.
A panelist Mr. Muda Yusus, the Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, bemoaned operators’ frustrations with prohibitive tariff rates, which he says keep rising by the year, lamenting that a 70percent duty rate for syringes and needles does not offer purposeful encouragement for healthcare operators.
He said, “Everywhere you turn as far as the delivery of social sector development is concerned, the people you see are the private sector. Out of 100 hospitals you find in a local government area, 90 are privately owned, while government has just about 10.
“Schools are same and these are the indices with which human development is measured.
“The Federal Government raised the duty of syringe from 10percent to 70percent, where is the incentive in this? Operators need to be encouraged and the way government is going about it does not create that atmosphere.”