By Adedapo Adesanya
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said that the worst is over following the contraction that led to Nigeria’s economy entering into another recession.
On a Saturday, Business Post reported that Nigeria’s economy contracted by 3.62 per cent in the third quarter of the year after 6.1 per cent decline in the second quarter of the year, which the chamber considered as not surprising.
Reacting to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) quarterly report, the Director-General of LCCI, Mr Muda Yusuf, noted that the latest numbers, which revealed that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recorded negative growth of 3.62 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, was expected.
According to him, the violence that trailed the peaceful #EndSARS campaign might cause another negative growth in the fourth quarter.
Mr Yusuf said that the protests and the destruction that followed were major setbacks for the nation’s economic recovery prospects.
He, however, expressed hopes that the economy would resume to the path of growth in the first or second quarter of 2021, barring any new disruptions to the economy.
“From an economic perspective, 2020 has been a very bad year; the worst in recent history.
“We are faced with the double jeopardy of a stumbling economy and spiralling inflation.
“The October inflation numbers of 14.23 per cent was the highest in 10 months, a condition which in economic parlance is characterised as stagflation.
“The effects of these developments are evident in businesses and in households.
“Regrettably, and as if these were not bad enough, the business community continues to grapple with unfavourable policy, institutional and regulatory challenges impeding investment,” he said.
The LCCI DG, however, said to facilitate quick recovery, there was the need to restore normalcy to the foreign exchange market by broadening the scope of market expression in the allocation mechanism.
He said, “The ports system, especially the key institutions in the international trade processes, need to be more investment-friendly.”
“We should show greater commitment to the fixing of the structural issues to reduce production and operating costs for investors in the economy,” he said.
Mr Yusuf said that following the #EndSARS experience, the state of internal security had begun to impact negatively on investors’ confidence, adding that security presence was becoming less visible, especially in the major cities, with psychological effects which, he said, could adversely affect investment and economic recovery.
“We appreciate the setback suffered by the police as a result of the recent protests and we empathize with them.
“But we need to give security confidence to citizens and investors.
“Incidents of kidnapping, banditry, herders-farmer clashes have not abated and these also have grave implications for investments,” he said.
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