By Gabriel Olawale
LAGOS—The outgoing President of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, Mr. Larry Ettah, has called for increased private sector vigilance on government management of the economy, which he said was not yet out of the woods of recession contrary to official pronouncements.
Speaking at the 61st Annual General Meeting of the Association, Ettah said: “we have creditably discharged their role as the protector and defender of enterprise rights but the rising hostility of legislators against the private sector and the irrational tightening of the fiscal noose by the tax authorities has made it imperative for NECA to step up its advocacy strategy and deepen its resource to protect enterprise rights.”
Ettah enjoined member-organisations of NECA to maintain a keen interest in key national issues that impact businesses in Nigeria, notably the unending saga of fuel subsidy regime and increased insecurity.
“Government has not been faithful to its policy and the subsidy regime is back in a far more vicious form. We expect the government to be transparent in its management of this new subsidy dispensation.
“The upsurge in bloodbath, killing and general insecurity in Nigeria, pose serious threats to the social, economic and political stability in the African continent, especially the West African sub-region. This development is significantly undermining the government’s efforts to create an enabling environment for wealth creation, enterprise competitiveness and job creation.”
He, therefore, charged government, working through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), to aim more at expanding the country’s revenue base by bringing more people into the tax net rather than raising revenue by increasing the tax rate for organised businesses and the working class or relying on borrowing to fund capital projects.