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Attract deep pocket investors, cutoff deficit borrowing plan, LCCI tells FG

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on the federal government to as a matter of urgent national importance make policies that will deepen ease of doing business so as to attract deep pocket foreign investors. The group made the request Wednesday during an International Investment Conference at the ongoing 30th Lagos International Trade Fair.

In her submission, the LCCI President, Mrs. Nike Akande, said “Addressing the deficit will require attracting foreign investments to complement the deficit borrowing component of the budget.

“The government needs to provide the enabling environment to attract the needed investments from within Nigeria and abroad.”

According to her, the industrial revolution the country badly needed requires massive inflow of foreign investments into the economy’s productive sectors.

She said the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan of the National Planning Commission was a 30-year coordinated roadmap towards resolving infrastructure deficit in the country.

Akande said the plan projected that the country would require $2 trillion for infrastructure development in the next 30 years.

But arguing that the regulatory environment currently does not portray a sense of certainty and consistency in regulations and policies, charged government to work out immediate short, median and long term solutions that will drive Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in critical sector of the economy.

On how to encourage local investors, the Director, Research and Advocacy, LCCI, Dr Vincent Nwani, noted that reduction of the MPR would stimulate the economy through improved access to credit facilities.

He argued that “The private sector has long been chased away from the banking halls. Monetary Committee raised MPR from 12 per cent to 14 per cent in the wake of recession.

“Today, private sector can only borrow between 25 per cent and 35 per cent from commercial banks and if you are borrowing from microfinance banks, it can be as high as 50 per cent.

“Who borrows such money? To do what? Except if you are doing an illegal business; even the ease of getting this credit is cumbersome.

“The challenge of high interest rate in the country has made government’s effort at stimulating the real sector of the economy ineffectual.In his submission, the Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Dr. Reuben Bamidele, said that articulated economic intervention policies would be required to achieve the country’s diversification agenda.

He noted that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should be fully integrated and collaborations between the public and private sector should be maximised and strengthened, stressing that “government’s investments should be channelled into areas that would promote more investments such as infrastructure, research and human capacity building”.

Earlier in her remarks, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade, and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, said diversification would be implemented through immediate use of the country’s natural resources.

The minister said that the government had concluded a review of the National Enterprise Development Programme and increased its team to include the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for effective implementation of its programme.


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