By Ibukun Emiola
Ibadan, Sept. 17, 2020 The Ibadan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has urged the federal government to employ more Public Private Partnerships in financing infrastructure in the country.
Sir Sola Abodunrin, the President of the Chamber, stated this at the 2020 virtual Annual General Meeting of the association in Ibadan on Thursday.
He stated that the situation the country had found itself, worsened by COVID-19 pandemic, called for restrategising.
“In a situation where revenue is declining as a result of low oil price and debt servicing is now taking a big chunk of our expenses, thereby denying the country
resources in infrastructure development.
“The situation where we have to borrow to solve our recurrent expenditures is not good enough.
“Any loan that is not going to add to the executive capacity of the country, should be discouraged at all cost.
“Government should reduce the cost of governance both at the Executive and National Assembly levels.
“Government should encourage more public private partnership and use the Nigerian capital market to provide the necessary infrastructure,”Abodunrin said.
The ICCI President also said that the government needed to address the insecurity challenges to encourage more investors into the country.
Abodurin cited the report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which indicate that foreign capital inflow into the country fell by 78 per cent in quarter two in year 2020.
Speaking on governments interventions for businesses to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, Abodunrin said that five of its members benefited from the Central Bank N50 billion palliatives to small and medium enterprises.
He stated that the Oyo State Government had also made available similar loan facility for interested members, adding that the government had released one billion naira as palliatives.
Abodunrin, however, solicited for more of its members to benefit from such intervention as the economic reality demands for more support for business owners.
He further urged the government to review its policies on fuel and electricity increment as, according to him, it has spiral effects on business owners, who are still grappling with adverse effects of COVID-19.
“The general increase in fuel and electricity will no doubt bring a spiral increase in other goods and services thereby increasing the level of inflation above 15 per cent in 2020,”Abodunrin said.