The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Federal Government to demonstrate commitment to addressing monetary and fiscal policy challenges stifling businesses.
The NECA Director-General, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, made the call in a statement on Thursday in Lagos, listing such challenges as foreign exchange dichotomy, fuel subsidies, multiple taxation, among others.
He made the call, just as he commended the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and government for embracing dialogue to avert the nationwide strike by the workers’ union earlier scheduled to start on March 29.
“The quick response by government to ease the cash liquidity and the corresponding immediate positive effect on the economy demonstrated that it has the capacity to address policies once it is determined to do so.
“Therefore, we call for similar determination and consultative engagements with the private sector and other relevant stakeholders to proffer solutions to business challenges in order to facilitate competitiveness and productivity, “ he said.
He commended the efforts of the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, and the Minister of Labour and Employment for personally getting involved.
He also lauded them for monitoring the disbursement to ensure compliance with the bank’s directive to end the cash crunch, of which the economic nerve-centre and other areas had started witnessing improvement.
“The CBN has shown goodwill and true support for the ailing economy by immediately disbursing cash to the commercial banks.
“Also, by directing the banks to open beyond their normal working hours to ease the cash crunch in the nation: an action which could have been averted in the first place, “ he said.
Oyerinde, however, warned that the ripple effects of the cash swap policy would linger as it would take considerable time for businesses, especially the informal sector, to recover.
He said that many of them had closed due to low purchasing power of consumers.
The NECA chief said that business activities had stagnated in the last 10 weeks of the implementation of redesigning of the currency policy nationwide.
He said this had led to reduced productive output, high inventory and jobs cut, and impediments to personal and business transactions.