LCCI cautions on auto policy

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has cautioned the Federal Government against the new automotive policy, saying that the policy may affect the economy negatively.

Speaking during the chamber’s quarterly press conference in Lagos, its President, Alhaji Aderemi Bello, said the increase in the import tariffs and levies on motor vehicles is harmful, not only to the economy, but the welfare of the citizens as well.

He linked the uncertainties in the business environment in the second quarter of the year to epileptic power supply, security challenges and the high cost of securing credit.

“It is inappropriate to begin to pursue a self-reliant automobile industry with the imposition of high import tariffs, where there are fundamental supply issues to contend with.

“The creation of a sustainable automobile industry should be premised on high local value addition and capacity for backward integration, strong engineering infrastructure especially on the iron rod, steel and foundries.

“Also, it depends on affordable finance of between 25 and 35 percent cost of fund to investors, creation of sound infrastructure like power and transportation.

“A lot needs to be done on these key issues if the economy must grow at the least desired rate in the subsequent quarter.

“We urge stakeholders in the political space to manage the transition programme to boost the growth of the economy which seriously includes the cost of doing business and job creation,” he said.

Bello said that power supply, insecurity and credit were the major challenges that stifled investment and growth in the second quarter.

According to him, the chamber’s Business Environment Survey revealed that key sectors in the economy like construction, agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas have experienced poor growth.

“Manufacturers, especially SMEs, still have major challenges as sticky access to credit, influx of fake and substandard products, regulatory infractions, and worsening power supply.

SOURCE: THE NATION

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