The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has cautioned that unless immediate action is done to address the issues currently impeding the country's economic growth, Nigeria runs the risk of slipping into economic stagflation.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday, Dr. Chinyere Almona, director general of the LCCI, highlighted the necessity for the federal government to continue its focused interventions in important economic sectors.
She stated: “The economy has continued to struggle with many inhibiting burdens like inflation, weak revenue generation, degenerated infrastructure, forex challenges, unsustainable cost profile seen in debt services and subsidy payments, and the daunting threats of worsening insecurity.
“The chamber is concerned that if we continue in this trajectory, the economy may bleed away into a stagflation which will impact on production cost, job losses, worsened forex crisis, and dampened growth in the medium term.”
Reviewing the National Bureau of Statistics' (NBS) most recent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Second Quarter 2022 report, LCCI identified significant challenges to the country's future growth that require special attention.
It called on the government to take a tougher stance against the threat of oil theft and pipeline vandalism after noting that the oil sector has regularly recorded negative growth for the ninth consecutive quarter.
The chamber also bemoaned the relatively slow development in manufacturing (3%) and agriculture (1.2%) as compared to other sectors, which rose at rates above 5%.
“This is also indicative of the threats facing these sectors that power Nigeria’s real sector.
“The woes in these two sectors are responsible for the frightening rise in our inflation rate. And with the excruciating burden from debt service, subsidy payments, and worsening insecurity, many more production activities may be constrained in the coming months,” the LCCI added.
Additionally, the chamber urged the government to keep up its non-oil campaigns and interventions in order to maintain targeted funding for increasing non-oil exports in order to increase foreign exchange revenues.