The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed confidence that with increased patronage, Nigerian manufacturers will be encouraged to improve the quality of their products and become competitive globally.
The immediate past President of the Chamber, Dr. Nike Akande, made this remarks while presenting the annual general report at the LCCI 2017 Annual General Meeting held in Lagos on Thursday.
The highpoint of the AGM was the election of Dr. Babatunde Ruwase as the new president of the LCCI.
Akande said, “It is certain that as the quality of our local production improves, local and international demand for them (local goods) will increase.”
She also said that even though the Nigerian economy experienced tough times with the recession and foreign exchange changes, the fundamentals remained strong with numerous opportunities and potential.
She said, “Crude oil prices are beginning to recover; foreign reserve is improving and inflation is on steady decline. We remain blessed with a large market, abundant natural resources and a very enterprising population.”
Akande pointed out that beyond the Gross Domestic Product numbers and the exit from recession, what was paramount was the impact on the cost of doing business as well as productivity of the investors, competitiveness of firms and the sustainability of investments.
She said, “To the average Nigerian, what matters is the effect on welfare, especially food prices, cost of health care, transportation cost, power supply and purchasing power. These are the considerations that would determine the extent of celebration ultimately.”
Akande stressed that for the country to sustain the momentum of recovery and positive outlook, it must ensure some reduction in multiple exchange rates, alignment of procurement policies at all levels of government to support domestic investment and production, investment policy that would protect domestic investors and tax policy that would be investment-friendly.
She added that the interest rate policy must support investment growth and trade policy must be such that would reduce the cost of production.
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