By Tunde Oso
AS the Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari approaches the twilight of his administration, more sectoral leaders have been listing economic agendas for the president-elect.
In separate economic blueprints for incoming administration sent to Vanguard, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, and Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) both maintain that with the economy in a stumbling and fragile state, “this political transition offers a great opportunity to chart a new course.”
MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, MAN
Titled Expectations from the New Administration, MAN, in the piece signed by Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director General, said the incoming government must permanently resolve the lingering difficulties with the currency transition, which has resulted in a more than 25% dip in sales of manufactured products.
•Direct the CBN and ensure that it complies with the prioritisation of foreign exchange to the productive sector, particularly to manufacturers to import raw materials, spares, and machinery that are not locally available. And taking immediate and time-bound steps to achieve the unification of the foreign exchange windows.
•Direct the NERC to admit all qualified applicant companies into the Eligible Customer Scheme in order to allow them access to power as stipulated in the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.
•Direct all relevant agencies of government to ensure that the electronic call-up system at ports aimed at redressing the congestion works without fail.
•Ensure that the Finance Bill 2022, if not assented to before the transition, includes the critical inputs of the organized private sector. In particular, the jettisoning of the highly objectionable removal of the 10% investment allowance on the acquisition of plants & machinery (in the Company Income-tax Act, section 32).
•Additionally, to ensure that the imposition of the 0.5% levy on eligible imports from third countries is limited to goods that we have capacity to produce locally and quite importantly, exclude raw materials that are not locally available. The input of the organized private sector on the CEMA bill should also be taken on board before the amendment bill is signed into law.
•Take a definite stand by ordering the removal of fuel subsidy. The decision should be outright and immediate steps should be taken to commence removal; among others.
CENTRE FOR THE PROMOTION OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE (CPPE)
In its own Economic Agenda for Incoming Administration, CPPE Director, Dr. Muda Yusuf, said the incoming administration should “Prioritize macro-economic stability with emphasis on moderating inflationary pressures, stabilising the exchange rate and boosting economic growth.
Reform Tax regime to ensure efficiency in tax administration, reduce tax evasion and tax avoidance and eliminate multiple taxation.
Elimination of fuel subsidy to save an estimated N7 trillion annually.
Elimination of foreign exchange subsidy to unlock a minimum of N3 trillion revenue annually from the sale of CBN forex to the official foreign exchange window. Unlock more income from revenue generating agencies through enhanced efficiency of their operations.
Initiate budget reforms to ensure fiscal discipline, curb budget padding, curb duplication of projects and review the service wide votes to ensure transparency. Ensure value for money in government expenditure and procurement. Commit to reduction in the cost of governance.
Foreign Exchange Policy Reform
Foreign exchange policy reform to unlock inflows of capital into the economy, reduce arbitrage in the forex market and improve transparency in the forex allocation. Ensure a market reflective exchange rate to eliminate the distortions in the forex ecosystem. Ensure level playing field in forex transactions.
Remove impediments to markets mechanism in allocation of forex. This will boost inflows from Foreign Direct Investment [FDI], Foreign Portfolio Investment [FPI], Export Proceeds and Diaspora remittances.
Oil & Gas Sector Reform
Demonstrate unmistakable commitment to the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act. This would attract more investment into the oil and gas sector. Remove petrol subsidy with minimum shocks to the economy and the citizens. A substantive minister of Petroleum Resources should be appointed to promote professionalism and transparency in the sector. The practice of the President assuming the role of Minister of Petroleum should be discontinued. The current impressive momentum to tackle oil theft should be sustained in order to boost oil production.
Trade & Tariff Reform
Ensure Tariff regime that adequately protects local industries. Import duty on intermediate products and critical industrial inputs should be reviewed to reduce production costs. Tariff review processes should be more inclusive and transparent. The administration should prioritize trade facilitation and removal all non-tariff barriers to trade. Removal of all customs checkpoints within the country. The practice of intercepting cargoes that have been duly cleared at any of our ports should be discontinued.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.