• Commends govt on economic policies, seeks further liberalisation of forex market
To forestall a repetition of abuse in the administration of export incentives, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has asked the Federal Government to enlighten private sector operators on the guidelines in the administration of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG).
Although the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Olusegun Awolowo, had said approval had been given by the Presidency to clear outstanding debts and revive the EEG scheme in order to increase non-oil exports in line with the zero oil plan and export promotion programme.
But the chamber expressed concern that the budgetary provision of $20billion seems to be grossly inadequate to address the huge outstanding pile of unpaid and unutilised Negotiable Duty Credit Certificates (NDCC).
Already, the Federal Government has commenced a verification of the claims by exporters under the EEG scheme, with the backlog of exporters’ claims, amounting to N300 billion would be settled with a tax credit rather than import credit.
National President, NACCIMA, Bassey Edem, while addressing journalists on the state of the economy commended the economic managers for different polices initiated and implemented in enhancing the ease of doing business in the country.
According to him, the recent effort in easing the pressure on the Naira through the review of the policies guiding foreign exchange (forex) management in the country is commendable.
He added that the establishment of separate windows for investors and exporters in the forex market has played a very key role in ensuring normalcy and has enabled some companies to start planning for the commencement of their operations.
He however urged the CBN to consider further liberalisation of the foreign exchange market, while also giving a thought to the cessation of the multiple windows in the forex market.
He equally called for a review of the CBN policy on the 41 items banned from the official forex market, through the removal of the essential raw materials that are not available locally from the banned items. He also sought the restoration of sectoral forex allocation to the real sector and extension of same to the agricultural and solid minerals sector, as provided in the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).
Edem also reiterated the need for government to align monetary and fiscal policies in a manner that would stimulate a lower interest rate for an improved economic activity and sustainable development.
On the way forward, he said: “It is imperative to state that the current effort of the Federal Government in rejuvenating the economy portends a great hope for the economic prosperity of our great country.
“While we favour that the Federal Government should sustain and religiously adhere to this Economic Growth and Recovery Plan document, we wish to plead that Nigerians should put politics aside and cooperate with this government and support the programmes and activities aimed at making live better for every citizen.”