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LCCI raises fears over economic sustainability, calls for duty waiver for manufacturers

2020 BUDGET: LCCI knocks Nigerian govt N305 foreign exchange benchmark

In reaction to the current crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed worries about economic sustainability and business continuity in the country.

A statement by the LCCI chief, Muda Yusuf, on Monday recommended a six-month duty waiver for firms producing raw materials and intermediate goods among other buffers government could deploy to reinvigorate the economy.

“One key lesson of the COVID-19 is the imperative of domestic production and building capacity for self-reliance.

“The global supply chain disruptions took a heavy toll on the manufacturing sector. To accelerate a rebound of the sector, this incentive is necessary.”

He similarly advocated removal of import duty from raw materials and equipment used by the Nigerian health sector.

Agro-processing inputs should also be considered for an import waiver lasting one year while payment of excise duty by manufacturers should also be halted for a year, the LCCI Director General said.

Mr Yusuf re-emphasised the imperative of promoting the patronage of goods made in the country through establishment of a robust monitoring mechanism that would ensure compliance with appropriate presidential directive.

“The government should give import duty waiver on machineries without need for any bureaucracy, for at least 12 months.

“This would facilitate the completion of ongoing projects by industrialists. The country needs growth as this would be key to project completion and encourage job creation,” he said.

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