By Naomi Uzor
The Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf, has faulted the merger of Finance, Budget & Planning ministries, and advised that fixing the economy should be paramount on the agenda of the newly inaugurated federal cabinet.
Yusuf, in an exclusive interview with Vanguard, noted that the merging of the two ministries may have an adverse effect on the effectiveness and quality of economic policy formulation and implementation.
He further noted that the newly sworn-in ministers and the government are confronted with a looming global recession driven by the protracted trade war between the United States and China, and other geopolitical issues.
Yusuf also stated: “Oil price has dropped U$60 per barrel. Also, the general revenue outlook is not positive. Therefore, fixing the economy should be paramount on the agenda of the new cabinet. Policy coordination, especially between the monetary and fiscal authorities, and among the key economic ministries is very important. The ministers should also regularly engage economic operators in their respective sectors in order to get appropriate feedback on economic policy.
“Revenue performance of the government is weak at this time; hence all hands must be on deck to ensure revenue optimization across all ministries without necessarily imposing additional burden on the business community.
“There should be fresh strategy to stimulate domestic and foreign investments, in order to attract more private capital into the Nigeria economy. It is equally very crucial to urgently reform the oil and gas sector in order to reduce the current pressure of fuel importation and subsidy payments on government finances.
“This situation is not sustainable. There should, therefore, be a deliberate strategy across board to put an end to this in the second term of this administration. We welcome the appointment of a substantive minister for power and we request that the ministry should be given all necessary support to fix the protracted power problem in the country,” he added.