High cost of production arising from hyper inflationary trend in Nigeria, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industries, ACCI, has said that the bitting economy is squeezing businesses in the country. President, ACCI, Dr Emeka Obegolu, in a statement asserted that the present inflation is really driving down businesses negatively and decried the daunting challenges experienced by entrepreneurs, with a surge in food inflation reaching 33.93 per cent that had worsen the situation. Obegolu said the way the situation is it demands the Tinubu-led administration to take decisive measures to curb the surge in inflation across the nation. He also advocated for implementing strategic interventions to counter the inflationary trends deepened by the removal of fuel subsidies and other impediments hindering the smooth conduct of business operations.
Meanwhile, ACCI also aligned with the findings of the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, report on the Consumer Price Index, CPI, for December 2023. According to ACCI, the report reveals an 11th consecutive increase, reaching 28.92 per cent, marking the highest inflation rate in two decades. The ACCI boss emphasised the imperative for the government to fortify the production value chain, particularly in sectors that generate employment opportunities, specifically the livestock sector, with a focus on the dairy industry, as pivotal in addressing longstanding farmer-herder clashes and enhancing national security. He also pointed out that the significance of the mining sector cannot be overephasised, therefore he urged the federal government to attract foreign investment to bolster the socio-economic welfare of the citizens. However, he called on Tinubu to maintain its pro-business policies aimed at enhancing the ease of doing business, which include the streamlining of tax procedures, swift implementation of new minimum wage standards to boost consumer purchasing power, addressing the prevailing insecurity concerns, and ensuring a stable power supply.
He said “these measures are anticipated to alleviate the cost of production, ultimately positioning the country as an attractive investment destination. As Nigeria grapples with a historic surge in inflation, the ACCI’s plea serves as a timely call to action, urging the government to implement robust strategies that will mitigate the economic challenges faced by the nation and pave the way for sustainable growth and development.” He also expressed optimism about the nation’s economic prospects, citing the impending commencement of operations at the Dangote Refinery and other refineries. He said the development will enable the government to conserve foreign reserve earnings, thereby facilitating investment in critical sectors of the economy.