Ominous cloud hangs over economy – BCI
The Business Club, Ikeja, has described the performance of the nation’s economy in the first nine months of the years as unimpressive, calling for urgent actions in some sectors critical to driving of the economy.
BCI is an aggregation of corporate bodies (national and multinational), service organisations and entrepreneurs of diverse fields operating within the Ikeja industrial and business axis.
The BCI’s assessment of the economy, which is coming on the heels of the nation’s 48th independence anniversary, is contained in the “Mid-Year Economic Review, 2008,” which was made available to our correspondent in Lagos on Monday.
According to the body, virtually all the key indicators identified to be on a slide in 2007, had remained the same in the 2008 Economic Review, submitting that “the government’s performance was a mixed basket and this is yet to change.”
As presented by the President of the association, Mr. Ayo Owoborode, the economic review titled, “The Nigerian Economy: Time to Recharge,” noted that “in spite of reforms agenda put together by the Federal Government, the economic terrain has remained, to a large extent, unfavourable for businesses.
“Infrastructure deficiency has continued to exert severe pressure on operating cost, constraining competitiveness and impeding efficiency in a global market setting.”
Owoborode, who identified power and transportation sectors of the economy as the most critical of the infrastructure components, said the real sector was the worst hit as a result of failures these areas.
Although the body noted the initiative by the various states to accept to release the sum of N678bn from the Excess Crude Account to fund the power sector intervention programme, it, however, said that as the situation of power and infrastructure stood, the issues needed to be given ‘optimal attention.’
“The report that capacity utilisation in Nigeria’s manufacturing sector has dropped to 38 per cent calls for serious concern from all those involved.
Crippling power crisis, failed basic infrastructure and rising cost of refined petroleum products have been identified as the factors responsible for the real sector’s decline,” Owoborode said.