LCCI Charges CBN to Support Sectors Outside Manufacturing, Agric

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By Taiwo Omilani

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has stressed the need for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to have a broader view of the economy, supporting sectors outside the manufacturing and agriculture.

President of the LCCI, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, gave this charge on Thursday at a press conference held in Lagos to address state of the nation.

According to him, the apex bank should have a broader view of the economy as sectors other than the real sector also have tremendous impact on the economy, and in fact complements the real sector, which is why there should be an economy wide view.

Mr Ruwase stressed that the services sector contributes over 55 percent of the GDP and has the capacity to contribute more if the desired support is provided, adding that the sector complements productivity and performance in the real sector.

In his address, the LCCI boss said logistics, transportation, ICT, construction, distributive trade, manpower development, energy sectors are critical to the value chain development of manufacturing, agriculture, and solid minerals.

“There should be a holistic view of the economy. The services sector currently accounts for 55 percent of the nation’s GDP and 45 percent of employment.

“There is therefore a need for policy makers to change their perception of sectors outside of the manufacturing and agriculture. They require no less support,” the LCCI chief said.

In a related development, Mr Ruwase commended the central bank’s decision to introduce a differentiated dynamic Cash Reserves Requirements (CRR) regime to direct long-term bank credit at 9 percent with a minimum tenure of seven years and two years moratorium to employment elastic sectors of the economy.

“The implication of this is that banks that lend to sectors that readily create jobs will get a corresponding CRR concession,” the LCCI President explained.

“We welcome this move as it is an innovative way of supporting growth in the economy, while minimizing risk to stability of the macro economic conditions,” he added.

During the quarterly press briefing, the LCCI boss thanked the media for the “good coverage you gave to our previous press conferences and other activities over the years.”

“LCCI and the media have come a long way in shaping the nation’s economy through impactful policy advocacy and engagements.

“We are committed to the sustenance of this partnership as we both strive to create conducive investment climate for the benefit of all,” he said at the event held at the Commerce House, Victoria Island, Lagos.

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