Chris Steven, Abuja
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has decried the downward trend of Nigeria’s economic outlook which it noted has continued to threaten the economic activities of its members.
TPresident of the Chamber, Tony Ejinkonye stated this in a statement while reacting to the negative trend of Nigeria’s trade imbalance.
“Nigeria economy remains in despair, it has become worrisome to us in the private sector and indeed entire Nigerians on how we can survive the economic hardship.
“Recently, Nigeria recorded a negative trade balance in Q1 2016, which is a clear indication and a wake-up call for the government to swing into action and look inwards on how to resuscitate export activities across the non-oil value chain, given the crumbling state of the oil sector.” He said
Referring to the latest release by National Bureau of Statistics, Ejinkonye lamented that “the report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade at the end of Q1, 2016 stood at N2,723.9 billion as against N3,517.4 billion recorded in Q4, 2015, representing a 22.6 percent decline in trade balance between Nigeria and the world.
“The report also revealed that the negative trade balance was as a result of falling export. It is against this backdrop that we are calling on the Federal Government to consider revisiting the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme which was originally initiated to motivate exporters and also encourage export based activities in a bid to diversify our economy from the mono-export market.
“It is now evident given the merchandise trade statistics that the suspension of EEG would continue to affect the non-oil sector growth, which has been recording poor performance in the last four years.
“We think there is need for Government to re-introduce the EEG and ensure transparency in its administration for the growth of the non-oil sector and overall interest of Nigerians,” the statement noted further” he said